Considering the fact that most technology companies rely heavily on Chinese manufacturing and components, it doesn’t come as a surprise that industry heavyweights such as Apple and Xiaomi have publicly announced that the COVID-19 outbreak would affect their results for the ongoing quarter. Huawei, also believed to be heavily exposed to the virus’ impact, has not made an announcement yet, the same as market leader Samsung, which some believe could actually benefit from the crisis.
The South Korean electronics giant has moved much of its smartphone production to Vietnam in recent years and pulled the plug on its last mobile phone plant in China in late 2019. Having largely receded from the Chinese market, Samsung will also be less affected by store closures and other demand effects that will impact most of its rivals.
Chinese market research company TrendForce expects global smartphone production in the first quarter to be 10 percent lower than originally expected due to the COVID-19 epidemic. The negative effects on output won’t be limited to the smartphone industry, however, as the following chart shows. Smartwatches, notebooks, smart speakers and video game consoles are all expected to suffer double-digit hits on unit shipments this quarter, with TV shipments expected to be 4.5 percent lower than forecast before the outbreak.