Sales of tablet computers and smartphones in Taiwan are expected to fall to the lowest level in nine years as they bear the brunt of the COVID-19 pandemic, International Data Corp (IDC) said yesterday.
Smartphone sales are expected to shrink 11.4 percent year-on-year to 5.72 million units this year, after tumbling 18.6 percent annually to 1.35 million units in the first quarter, as the pandemic disrupted supply of new models and added to economic uncertainty, IDC said in a report.
The pandemic continues to affect Taiwan’s smartphone sales as consumers are reducing spending and extending handset replacement cycles to ride out the public health crisis, it said.
“As smartphones and tablets are heavily dependent on consumers’ demand for growth, those two devices are taking a hit from the pandemic as consumers spent more on anti-pandemic products,” IDC associate research director Joey Yen (嚴蘭欣) said in a statement.
Coupled with uncertainty about economic prospects and escalating trade tensions between the US and China, consumers are likely to curtail spending on nonessential items, which would put a drag on replacement demand for smartphones, Yen said.
Sales of tablets are expected to contract 24 percent annually to 760,000 units this year, after tumbling 55.9 percent year-on-year in the first quarter on sagging demand and supply chain constraints, IDC said.
However, enterprise demand would be robust, with sales of commercial tablets likely to grow at an annual rate of 22.8 percent this year, the company said.
Sales of tablets and smartphones are expected to return to growth next year, it added.
Meanwhile, sales of PCs in Taiwan are forecast to slide 3.4 percent annually this year, as the pandemic begins to dampen enterprise and consumer demand in the second half, retreating from growth in the first half, IDC said.
PC sales were better than expected, increasing 8.2 percent to 555,000 units in the first quarter and they are expected to increase 2.7 percent in the second quarter, due to the stay-at-home economy, the company said.
The rapid resumption of production in PC supply chains also helped boost sales, the company added.
Pandemic-induced lockdowns and transportation restrictions supported monitor sales in Taiwan in the first quarter, as IDC’s tally showed a slight decline of 0.9 percent to 317,000 units in the first quarter, which was 20 percent higher than the researcher’s original estimate.
For the whole of this year, monitor sales could drop 0.9 percent annually, IDC said.
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