In some of the first analysis on the impacts that the novel coronavirus pandemic will have on the mobile ecosystem, Strategy Analytics said that it is expecting to see a significant drop in business-to-business mobile device shipments, as verticals around the world struggle with the fall out.
“The rapid spread of the virus has created an unprecedented situation among businesses globally, especially [small-to-medium businesses],” Strategy Analytics said.
The research firm said that in a new report, it has taken a look at how COVID-19 will impact the B2B mobile smartphone and tablet markets under three possible scenarios: a global slowdown, a positive recovery, and a “negative pandemic-driven scenarios.”
Gina Luk, who is principal analyst of Mobile Workforce Strategies at Strategy Analytics, said that in the base scenario, “Global business smartphone units will ship 12% fewer smartphone to enterprises in 2020, and global business tablet units will ship 14% fewer tablets to enterprises in 2020” compared to MWS’s third-quarter forecast.
“Some sectors, like aviation, tourism, and hospitality, will see a crash in lost demand and other sectors, like manufacturing, construction, and wholesale will see delayed demand,” she added. “Areas like education face a challenge to conduct more teaching online, which may see some uptick in demand from that sector. Public sector overall will slow down as government restrictions to the most severely affected countries begin to really bite.”
“Our view is that we are currently looking at something between a base case and negative-driven scenario,” said Andrew Brown, who is executive director of enterprise research at Strategy Analytics and co-author of the report. “The rate of spread is growing rapidly outside China and is showing no signs of slowing down. It is also unprecedented to have this spread so quickly. We think it will drive a further push towards mobility and SaaS/cloud services, as well as remote collaboration and conferencing applications as more meetings are forced to be handled remotely to bring global teams together.”
Economic impacts are already occurring, with global market slumping and layoffs already announced at some U.S. companies. A UBS survey of business owners conducted between March 7-13 found that if the outbreak gets worse, as much as 24% of employers plan to downsize. A PWC survey of CFOs and financial executives in the U.S. and Mexico who were surveyed last week, found that 54% of respondents reported that the outbreak has the potential for “significant” impact to their business operations.