7 April 2020
China: one in three consumers delay or cancel planned 5G and smartphone purchases
Although people in China are more optimistic about a rapid sling-shot return to normal than USA or European consumers, smartphone replacement and 5G adoption have certainly been slowed, concludes Strategy Analytics’ wireless smartphones team in its new report ‘China Smartphone: Consumer Purchase Intentions Post Covid-19’ (which is based on a survey of 1300 consumers, over 21-25 March).
Other key findings are that:
- Two thirds have postponed a planned trip while 40% have delayed purchases of cars, furniture, major appliances.
- Smartphone and 5G were not immune from delayed purchasing in China: 37% have delayed a new smartphone purchase and 32% have delayed 5G adoption.
- Apple users are not surprisingly the most optimistic, with 41% intending to buy a new smartphone device either as planned or sooner than planned.
- In contrast, Huawei owners were more broadly split, with 42% delaying or cancelling planned purchases but another one in four expect to buy as scheduled.
Graphic: Impact of COVID-19 on smartphone purchasing plans in China (source: Strategy Analytics, 2020).
“Beyond the death toll and infection count, the economic price to pay in China will be a significant decline in GDP growth and almost certainly some pullback on discretionary expenditures by a generation of Chinese who have never known anything but boom times,” reckons David Kerr VP of Wireless at Strategy Analytics.
“The supply chain and full ecosystem may be back up to speed as we enter second-quarter 2020 but it is clear that a significant portion of consumers are NOT yet ready to return to previous patterns and purchase intentions,” believes Linda Sui, director of Smartphone research. “Operators, vendors and retailers will have to work extra hard to persuade hesitant smartphone owners that new devices and new 5G services are worth making an investment in relative to other priorities”.