Qualcomm latest to confirm COVID-19 smartphone hit

Qualcomm said Wednesday it expects the smartphone industry to ship 30% fewer phones in the June quarter amid the COVID-19 crisis, but maintains relatively strong demand for 5G smartphones in 2020.

Qualcomm expects 5G smartphone makers, including Apple, to ship between 175 million and 225 million 5G devices this year.

San Diego-based chip maker is the world’s largest supplier of smartphone modems and, as a key supply chain partner of tech giants like Apple and Samsung, often has extensive knowledge of the smartphone market .

Her reduced delivery forecast for the June quarter, which she revealed on Wednesday, follows a previous 21% drop in smartphone demand in the first three months of the year due to the coronavirus.

Qualcomm sold 129 million modems in the second quarter of 2020 and plans to sell between 125 and 145 million in the third.

Previous predictions suggested that 2020 would be a solid year for the smartphone industry due to the deployment of devices equipped with 5G, such as the rumor that the “iPhone 12” line from Apple. However, the COVID-19 pandemic has thwarted these plans and could soften demand in the long term. While Qualcomm was originally supposed to ship between 175 and 185 billion modems in 2020, it no longer provides forecasts of the total market.

Despite this, the chipmaker said it expects suppliers to ship 175 million to 225 million 5G smartphones this year. This is in line with some estimates made before the COVID-19 pandemic, but companies like Strategy Analytics are still expecting 5G deliveries to be lower in 2020 than originally planned.

Currently, the so-called “iPhone 12” seems to be on the right track for a fall release. And while analysts predict the lineup could play a role in Apple’s ACO-COVID recovery, market demand is still likely to be weaker than expected.

Apple will announce its results for its second fiscal quarter of 2020 on Thursday. Although uncertainties remain in the market, many analysts remain optimistic about Apple’s long-term prospects.

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