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Samsung has indicated that the growing demand for 5G smartphones will not save the global smartphone market that has been greatly impacted by the coronavirus outbreak.

COVID-19 pandemic affecting the demand of smartphones

Before the coronavirus outbreak, Samsung was expecting demand for smartphones to increase this year. Samsung’s mobile division head DJ Koh stated that the pandemic has affected the economy significantly, and now the smartphone market is showing signs of contracting. He added that despite this turmoil being experienced, the smartphone market is likely to grow relative to last year.

The COVID-19 outbreak has resulted in lockdowns of major cities across the world, leading to the shutdown of businesses. For instance, in South Korea, where the company is headquartered, the country has been dealing with the highest number of coronavirus cases outside mainland China.

Equally in North America and Europe, there has been a growing number of COVID-19 cases prompting governments in countries such as Spain and Italy to impose lockdowns. People across the globe are now staying at home and evading crowded areas.

The situation in China returning to normalcy

The warning by Samsung comes days after Apple announced that it was closing all its stores outside mainland China as a measure to combat the spreads of the virus. The iPhone maker warned last month that it is likely to miss on its Q1 revenue estimates following the shuttering of its stores in Mainland China, with its main manufacturing contractor Foxconn forced to shutter its factories countrywide. Apple stores have since reopened in China as normalcy seems to be returning to the epicenter of the coronavirus.

Samsung had also closed its plants briefly after a worker reportedly tested positive of COVID-19. Interestingly even if the factories resume normal operations, smartphone makers should brace themselves as the situation is likely to get worse.

At the beginning of this month, research company Strategy Analytics stated that global smartphone shipments will miss estimates by 10% this year due to the impact of the coronavirus. In this situation, no one will win since all smartphone manufacturers will take a hit.