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Reviewing the Global Smartphone Industry Strategic Implication in Response to COVID-19 Situation


Abstract and Figures

The global smartphone brands were progressing aggressively over time. A sudden unexpected turbulent situation known as a global pandemic declared by the World Health Organization (WHO) about a century later in the history of human civilization stops this progress. It makes the industry bound to fall behind. This study aims to review and analyze the impact of the present pandemic situation due to Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) on the global smartphone industry. It shows the competitive scenarios focusing on smartphone demand and supply as-well-as suggests a strategic approach to combat this situation. It is done by reviewing the latest literature published explicitly in 2020. The findings of this study reveal a significant negative impact of COVID-19 on global smartphone brands, primarily especially in the big markets of this industry, namely China, India, USA, Europe. Conversely, it can also positively impact the industry, especially in some developing countries. The positivity is seen due to the expanded demand for smartphones in some sectors like education, business, and entertainment media that shifted online. This shifting triggers the user's need to purchase a new smart device. Lastly, based on the understanding of the current scenario, some strategic approaches are discussed. Again appropriate solutions are given for the industry to cope up with the pandemic crisis and, at the same time, attain success. The strategic directions given at the end can be applied to the industry's sustainability and growth.
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PaperReviewing the Global Smartphone Industry Strategic Implication in Response to COVID
Reviewing the Global Smartphone Industry Strategic
Implication in Response to COVID-19 Situation
Samsul Alam
Daffodil International University, Dhaka, Bangladesh
AbstractThe global smartphone brands were progressing aggressively
over time. A sudden unexpected turbulent situation known as a global pandemic
declared by the World Health Organization (WHO) about a century later in the
history of human civilization stops this progress. It makes the industry bound to
fall behind. This study aims to review and analyze the impact of the present
pandemic situation due to Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) on the global
smartphone industry. It shows the competitive scenarios focusing on
smartphone demand and supply as-well-as suggests a strategic approach to
combat this situation. It is done by reviewing the latest literature published ex-
plicitly in 2020. The findings of this study reveal a significant negative impact
of COVID-19 on global smartphone brands, primarily especially in the big
markets of this industry, namely China, India, USA, Europe. Conversely, it can
also positively impact the industry, especially in some developing countries.
The positivity is seen due to the expanded demand for smartphones in some
sectors like education, business, and entertainment media that shifted online.
This shifting triggers the users need to purchase a new smart device. Lastly,
based on the understanding of the current scenario, some strategic approaches
are discussed. Again appropriate solutions are given for the industry to cope up
with the pandemic crisis and, at the same time, attain success. The strategic di-
rections given at the end can be applied to the industrys sustainability and
KeywordsCompetitive approach, COVID-19 impact, global smartphone
brand, pandemic situation, smartphone industry, strategic implication
1 Introduction
One of the leading industries in this technological era, the smartphone industry,
emerges in the marketplace suddenly and gets the fastest growth besides the internet.
It does not have a lengthy historical background. The mobile phone comes into exist-
ence by Motorola researcher and executive Martin Cooper on April 3, 1973. After
that, mobile phone devices get global acceptance. Likewise, different national and
multinational companies start producing commercial mobile phones. Later, Coopers
boss and Motorolas chief of portable communication products played a vital role in
advancing the equipment of handheld mobile phones in that same year. Then, Mitch-
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PaperReviewing the Global Smartphone Industry Strategic Implication in Response to COVID
ell pushes Motorola to develop wireless communication products that are small
enough to use anywhere and thus participates in the cellular phone design. In this
way, Motorola, Inc. (1928, USA) is the first multinational mobile company, but the
irony of this pioneering company is that it is not in existence today. It stops its busi-
ness operations in 2012 by being sold to Google, which Lenovo, later on, acquired in
2014. However, from Smiths [1] report, it is found that the first smartphone is
launched by another hi-tech company International Business Machine (IBM), in 1992
by the name of Simon. It incorporates a touchscreen, email, fax, address book, built-in
apps, calculator, sketch pad, predictive typing having some limitations of high cost
(USD 1,100) and low battery life (1 hour). The real journey of the smartphone starts
with tech-giant company Apples iPhone in 2007 with added features. The
smartphone gets much popularity with the inception of android and more mobile
phone companies joining in smartphone production and introduction in the market,
allowing customers to purchase a phone with a high-quality camera, much storage
capability with a cloud computing facility, strong battery life, Electronic Commerce
(E-commerce) transaction capability, location traceability, availability of apps and
tools, more customization facility, more support through Artificial Intelligence (AI)
technology at affordable prices. Some of the most popular smartphone models are
iPhone 5, 6, 6 Plus, 7, 7 Plus, X, XR 11, 11 Pro Max; Samsung Galaxy J2 Core, S III,
S4, S7, S8, S8+, S9, S10, S11, S20+, A20, A30s, A50, A51, A10s; Xiaomi Redmi
Note 7, 8, 8 Pro; Huawei Mate 10 Pro, P20; Google Pixel 2; OnePlus 5; HTC U11;
Nokia 6600, 5230, N70; Motorola Droid Bionic; LG G3; HTC Thunderbolt and many
more. Today almost 3.6 billion users (around 45% of the world population and 67%
of total mobile phone users) among 5.26 (around 67% of the world population) billion
unique mobile phone users of 10.4 billion mobile connections all over the world use
smartphone devices [2].
The whole world has been undergoing a pandemic situation since the beginning of
2020 due to COVID-19. Its ongoing spread infects approximately 219 countries,
around 76 million cases, caused 1.6 million deaths worldwide till 2020, which
reached around 166.9 million infected cases, 3.5 million deaths in May 2021 [3], [4].
By this time, many research activities are conducted throughout the world. Venkatesh
[5] studies scientific research on COVID-19 and mentions a moral significance for
science to assist people fighting against this tough time and recovering from this pan-
demic, subsequently settings an agenda for research. He categorizes the agenda into
three distinct areas. He provides direction to study on (i) jobs - job loss, job changes,
job outcomes, coping, and support, (ii) home life - home life changes, children, and
life-related outcomes, (iii) overarching possible research directions and considera-
tions- social life, support focal groups, general issues, and special considerations.
According to Research Gate [6] repository, around 269,356 published and working
papers till May 2021. These are categorized into many disciplines like machine learn-
ing and deep learning (3,326), mobility and location data (1,128), control and exit
strategies (24,591), SARS (15,460), MERS (1,712), protecting frontline workers
(10,918), psychological impact (7,184), social and economic impact (17,248) and
more are being added over time. Although there are many articles published on social
and economic impact, no article is explicitly found based on its impact on the global
PaperReviewing the Global Smartphone Industry Strategic Implication in Response to COVID
smartphone industry. Hence, this paper focuses on social and economic development.
Thus, the current study responds to Venkateshs [5] possible research direction and
considerations of changes to social life, support to cope with demand, and role of
technology, and Research Gates [6] repository categorization of social and economic
It can be inferred that the pandemic situation harms the global smartphone industry
as it reduces the customers purchasing power due to income loss, joblessness, eco-
nomic activity shutdown well as it affects the supply chain. On the contrary, it can
positively impact demand for global smartphone brands because of the urgent need
for distance learning, works from home, increased communication with dear ones due
to lockdown, and increased mobile entertainment for psychological support. Based on
the discussion, two research questions are developed. First, what are the actual im-
pacts of COVID-19 on global smartphone brands? Second, what strategic approaches
should these companies take during and after the pandemic situation?
Based on the assumptions and research questions, the primary purpose of this study
is to show the impact of COVID-19 and analyze the strategic implications of the
global smartphone industry. The specific purpose is to discuss the:
Major global smartphone brands based on industry position
Global smartphone industry market analysis and competitive scenario
Significant changes occurred in the industry due to COVID-19
Significant trends and consequences of the rise of this industry
Future strategic options of the industry for achieving success
This study includes the smartphone industry throughout the world. It describes the
ins and outs of the industry concerning strategy implementation during and after the
COVID-19 pandemic situation. Thus, the study outcome is helpful to the industry-
specific stakeholders such as smartphone companies policymakers, suppliers, distrib-
utors, research scholars, market analysts, investors, users to understand and tackle
present and future scenarios.
The study is constructed systematically. The whole study is chronologically divid-
ed into seven parts; formerly, the background shows a historical overview of the glob-
al mobile phone industry and an overview of COVID-19. Then, literature from previ-
ously conducted studies is explored. Next, the methodology of the study is discussed.
After that, an overview of global smartphone brands is given. Then, the impact of
COVID-19 on the smartphone industry is shown; subsequently, strategic options are
discussed. In the end, a conclusion is drawn, and future research directions are men-
2 Review of Literature
Staboulis and Lazaridou [7] mention that it is expected that a pandemic situation
occurs in the history of human civilization. Usman et al. [3] conduct a detailed study
on the economic impact of COVID-19. Likewise, many other researchers have al-
ready worked and have been working on the impact of COVID-19 from an economic
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PaperReviewing the Global Smartphone Industry Strategic Implication in Response to COVID
perspective. The study of Baldwin et al. [8] specifies that just before the pandemic
situation, the global economy was rosy, tense free, and cheerful, which situation has
changed due to COVID-19. It brings about the most suffering to the economic sector
all over the world. It is contagious to the economy as like the medical sector. Where
European Union (EU) mentions that Italy and France are at risk of going into an eco-
nomic recession, International Monetary Fund (IMF) states that there is an extreme
chance for a fall of the global economy. Borri [9] mentions that the economic impact
of COVID-19 is acute, where Fernandes [10] comments that global recession is al-
most inevitable. Nicola et al. [11] and Baldwin et al. [8] identify that it has triggered
the probability of unwanted economic crisis and recession. Again, the production of
commodity and manufacturing products has decreased. In other words, this sector
suffers from a triple hit for disruption of direct supply, supply chain contagion, and
disruption of demand.
According to Oxford Analytica, [12] COVID-19 will worsen the global manufac-
turing downturn. Nicola et al. [11] specify that multinational companies and distribu-
tors will manufacture and source beyond China over the years. Baker et al. [13] men-
tion that no infectious disease in the past like the Spanish Flu was as devastating as
COVID-19 that affects the stock market severely. A study by Czech et al. [14] identi-
fies continuous pandemic results in the depreciation of Visegrad currencies. Waheed
et al. [15] mention that due to COVID-19, stock markets of developed countries go to
an uncontrolled situation [16] wherein developing countries like Pakistan has a posi-
tive increase in stock returns that is the result of in time response from the govern-
ment. Elleby et al. [17] specify that due to income loss and supply chain disruption
[10], pandemic leads people in developing countries to suffer from food insecurity.
However, global food consumption is not so much affected. Saha and Khan [18] con-
duct a survey and find that people whose regular activity is affected have a financial
crisis during the lockdown. Mental health becomes poor, especially for females.
After COVID-19 appeared, few countries pursued a laissez-faire approach, and
lately, almost all governments emphasize restrictive controls [12]. Bartik et al. [19]
and Vidaurreta et al. [20] study its effect on small businesses and found these busi-
nesses are severely affected where many are closed down, and most of the remaining
are at risk. Cowling et al. [21] find that 39% of SME businesses have been strengthen-
ing cash balances during the pandemic, where 61% might run out of cash, involving
8.6% having no retained earnings mentioning that micro-business companies are at
risk. Kabir et al. [22] argue that the pandemic situation will have a long-lasting impact
on health hazards, financial difficulty, and future employment opportunities of gar-
ment workers in Bangladesh. They suggest that these issues should be considered by
stakeholders, e.g., international buyers, BGMEA, and government policymakers.
Another study argues that due to coronavirus, Spains economy is poorly affected and
comments that an immediate recovery of the economy is not possible [23].
Kaur et al. [24] mention that COVID-19 has brought about a change in doing busi-
ness. Kandi and Deogade [25] study a completely different impact of COVID-19,
showing the positive impact. They identify a few vehicles on the road due to lock-
down, which produce lower air and water pollution, road traffic accidents, and a low
crime rate. It facilitates people spending quality time with family members, fulfills
PaperReviewing the Global Smartphone Industry Strategic Implication in Response to COVID
hobbies, learns many new skills, and understands sanitation necessity, hand hygiene,
and social distancing. They conclude that it also reminds us of the need for an im-
proved healthcare system and clinical studies, and improved immunity. This situation
shows a short-term emission of greenhouse gas though having no long-term effect.
Another study by He et al. [26] argues that it opens up ample opportunity for busi-
nesses to play social responsibility to mitigate a global social and environmental cri-
sis. They also discuss how the pandemic changes the marketing concept, context, and
strategies due to COVID-19. Yoo and Managi [27] calculate COVID-19 global mor-
tality benefits using the age- and country-specific Value of a Statistical Life (VSL).
They identify that social distancing, home quarantine, school closures, and case isola-
tion may save up nearly USD 40.76 trillion globally. Social distancing accounts for
55% of benefits and mentions USA, Japan, and China may get the most benefits.
Radanliev et al. [28] study global pandemic management based on a comprehen-
sive bibliographic review and propose solutions to pandemic management in a predic-
tive, preventive, and personalized way based on social machines and connected de-
vices. Budd et al. [29] study digital technologies in response to COVID-19 and men-
tion that enhanced use of mobile phones, substantial online datasets, connected devic-
es, minimum cost computing resources, and machine learning and natural language
development can be adopted to tackle the pandemic. McMaster et al. [30] say that
COVID-19 has affected supply and demand negatively. They indicate a need for
building flexibility to lessen the risk of epidemics. Narang et al. [31] reveal that some
companies are more capable of resilience than others and mention that small and low
profitable companies are mostly affected. Goyal [32] and Haubrich [33] suggest that
it is essential to enhance macroeconomic stimulus and attain financial stability to
recover and sustain after the COVID-19 pandemic. McKibbin and Fernando [34]
recommend financial institutions to ensure carry-on functioning while pandemic sus-
tains for recovering affected economies. Businesses have pursued innovative ways to
achieve success. The pandemic situation has boomed E-commerce businesses, video
conferencing platforms, education technology vendors. It is also making a truly digital
world as a result of coping with the new normal situation. Pandey [35] specifies that
COVID-19 brings about paradigm shifts in the workplace and businesses that need to
cope with this change; otherwise, there will be a survival question. Radanliev et al.
[28] mention that instead of having and deploying available digital methods for slow-
ing down or clogging COVID-19 and upcoming pandemic, the globe is not prepared,
and no lessons have been learned from earlier pandemic cases. Oliver et al. [36] say
that mobile data is used to deduce human movement and social interaction.
Cecere et al. [37] discuss the smartphones evolution from vertical and horizontal
innovations and mention that new smartphone models are increasing day by day due
to the entrance of new companies. They find fierce competition in horizontal innova-
tions, although perceived nearly the same in vertical innovations, and conclude that no
dominant design has been identified yet. Campbell-Kelly et al. [38] study the evolu-
tion of the smartphone industry from multi-sided platform theory that analyzes vari-
ous practical strategies to solve chicken-and-egg problems for mobile OS at the start-
ing point. Based on survey evidence, this theory also examines the approaches used
by mobile platforms to continue the momentum with users. This continuance of users
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PaperReviewing the Global Smartphone Industry Strategic Implication in Response to COVID
momentum is required to involve various user groups. Likewise, they analyze mobile
platforms to interact with network carriers, advertisers, and third-party app develop-
ers. Finally, they explain Apples and Googles relative success. Pon et al. [39] con-
duct a comparative case study in the smartphone industry to analyze platform strate-
gies. They suggest that the OS has aborted to be a bottleneck or control point. Again,
OS are contributing to enhancing the popularity of mobile phone brands. Different OS
is being used in smartphones like Android, iPhone, BlackBerry, Symbian, Windows,
and many more. All of these OSs are not similarly popular throughout the world. For
example, Blackberry OS is popular in North America, whereas iPhone OS has recent-
ly witnessed a high growth rate in North America [40]. These smartphone companies
depend on cloud-based services to create value and lock in users [39]. Park and Koo
[41] analyze the smartphone markets OS switching costs using the hierarchical
Bayesian multinomial logit model and find it is USD 171, but this cost relies on con-
sumer characteristics. Shin [42] uses the Customer Satisfaction Index (CSI) model for
smartphones and finds that perceived value and customer satisfaction are essential
variables and the heuristic implication for effective policies and competitive strate-
gies. Other researchers Galetovic et al. [43] find that mobile phone technologies are
developed and licensed by specialized companies and estimate an average cumulative
royalty yield in the value chain, USD 7.20 per phone (3.3%) in 2016. They claim that
decentralization produces high royalties. Rennhoff and Routon [44] estimate tele-
phone services demand in the USA, where they find a monthly consumer surplus of
USD 35.5, which reduced to aggregately USD 7.03 billion from the smartphones
inception. The smartphone is a more substantial substitute for a landline than the fea-
tured phone. Thus they suggest that smartphone growth triggered down the growth of
Funk [45] studies on Japanese mobile phone industry to show how the value net-
work of this industry is changing from the value chain. He shows that many interface
standards are creating a relationship between this industry and other industries. He
finds that this change needs a different setting standard, making policy, and managing
value networks than are used presently in this industry. Again, Narayana [46] studies
the Indian public and private sectors growth contributions in telecom services and
estimates that demand for socio-economic determinants of these services is fixed. The
result shows a strong negative effect on price and a positive effect on income varia-
bles. It distinguishes the necessity of social caste, nature of the occupation, level of
education, family size, and age of household head between mobile and fixed phones
that provide evidence for mobile phones substitutability for fixed phones. Ward [47]
finds a considerable impact of mobile phone use on Chinas economic growth, where-
as more minor impacts from fixed-line use. This effect is high when it is a less devel-
oped country. They develop an estimation strategy to lower the possible endogeneity
Carton et al. [48] study smartphone usage patterns and future forecasts and find
that every fifth person will possess a smartphone globally. This forecasting is based
on the unbelievable demand for smartphones, making it a new global tech cycle.
Mongardini and Radzikowskis [49] conclude that global smartphone mobile sales
maybe peaked. They mention that in 2016 with around 1.5 billion units sold, global
smartphone sales fell to around 1.4 billion in 2019, indicating the market has been
saturated. In Canalys [50] reports, it is mentioned that in the First Quarter (Q1), Sec-
PaperReviewing the Global Smartphone Industry Strategic Implication in Response to COVID
ond Quarter (Q2), Third Quarter (Q3), and Fourth Quarter (Q4) of 2020, smartphone
shipments fell respectively 14%, 15%, 1%, and 2% globally from the same quarter of
the previous year. Their further study shows that there will be negative growth of
global smartphone brands shortly, at least for five years. This negativity will happen
due to the low penetration of users in the market and the high replacement cycle.
However, the entrance of 5G may open up a new industry picture with an increased
trend of customer demand, and as a result, positive sales growth may occur.
3 Methods
3.1 Smartphone vs. pandemic situation
The smartphone is a mobile electronic handheld device mainly used for distance
communications with some bundle of features. These features may include voice
calls, video calls, short messaging service, internet browsing and surfing capabilities,
global positioning system, multimedia services (audio-video), camera, and many
more. Smartphone has a ubiquitous use throughout the world [51]. The smartphone
industry has passed the growth stage of the industry life cycle and exists in the maturi-
ty stage. So, the market is much more competitive than earlier [40]. The global
smartphone companies face difficulties from the regional smartphone producers. Now
the industry has been struggling with the pandemic crisis that originated from
COVID-19 originated and was found in Wuhan, China, on December 31, 2019 [3],
[4]. WHO [4] reports that among the infected countries, nearly 54% are from the top 3
countries, namely the USA, India, and Brazil. Again, around 42% of people have died
from these three countries out of total death cases worldwide. Other countries having
high death rates are Mexico, UK, Italy, France, Spain, and Peru, having higher than
20K measures. Worldwide, medicine specialists are struggling to invent a vaccine to
prevent this virus from almost the beginning of the pandemic, but no success stories
have been heard. United Nations [52] reports that this virus will not disappear rather
sustain for long-lasting as announced by WHO. Fortunately, the good news is that on
August 11, Russian President Vladimir Putin declared that his country approves a
vaccine against coronavirus. Although there is controversy about the effectiveness of
this vaccine because of its quick launch [53], this initiative show smiles to billions of
people worldwide. It works as motivation for other specialists to bring more effective
vaccines. Finally, on December 8, 2020, WHO approves the first COVID-19 vaccine.
In 2020, 2 vaccines got approval. By May 2021, total 7 vaccines namely (i) CO-
MIRNATY (BioNtech-Germany), (ii) AstraZeneca (Republic of Korea), (iii) COV-
ISHIELD (Serum Institute - India), (iv) Janssen (Belgium), (v) AstraZeneca (Swe-
den), (vi) Moderna Biotech (Spain), and (vii) Sinopharm (China) get approved [4]. To
encapsulate the overall scenario and impact of COVID-19 in the global economy,
specifically on the global smartphone industry, and to discuss the strategic implica-
tions arising from this pandemic, the author conducts this thorough study.
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PaperReviewing the Global Smartphone Industry Strategic Implication in Response to COVID
3.2 Design
To validate assumptions and to answer the research question, it is required to study
existing literature in detail. Thus, the study is based on data of already available litera-
ture on COVID-19 impact on the global smartphone industry that is a hot topic in the
current situation. The systematic literature reviews, a widely accepted method ad-
dressed by Kitchenham and Charters [54] and Budgen and Brereton [55], are adopted
in this study. As part of this review, the synthesis of both the qualitative and quantita-
tive studies by searching, selecting, systematically reviewing the academic publica-
tions from renowned databases and at the same time credible online sources are used.
3.3 Data
To retrieve the published literature in the relevant field of COVID-19 and the
smartphone industry to find a real scenario, the author searches the literature by using
conventional subject searching methods in some reputed databases. In searching the
literature, the period is considered from 2014 to 2019 as per the relevance and suita-
bility. From the time interval of 2020, approximately 60 samples are accepted. Then,
other time intervals from 2014 to 2019 are also accepted. 3 articles are collected from
2019, 4 from 2018, 6 from 2016, 6 from 2015, and 3 from 2014 are used. Again, other
4 papers are used for 2009, 2007, 2006, and 1989 respectively, whereas the rest are
The sources include various journal articles, books, annual reports, conference pa-
pers, websites, newspapers, weblogs, reports, working papers collected from the in-
ternet. These data are collected by using appropriate searching words like COVID-19
impact, global smartphone, the economic impact of the pandemic situation, and stra-
tegic implications from the worlds prominent academic publishers databases, e.g.,
Elseviers Scopus, Clarivate Analytics Web of Science, Springer, IEEE, Emerald,
Google Scholar, Research Gate, and online sources from websites. The strategy of
searching this metadata is that they are used in database documents title: smartphone
or COVID-19 impact; abstract-keywords: global smartphone brands OR economic
impact of the pandemic situation; doctype: article OR conference proceedings;
PUBYEAR: 2014<2020. It is an exploratory study that uses a mixed approach using
both qualitative and quantitative data. To discuss and analyze the quantitative data,
the author uses time-series data. These data are collected from renowned websites of
global smartphone brands like Huawei, Samsung, Apple, Xiaomi, Oppo, Vivo, Real-
me, Lenovo, LG, ZTE annual reports; third party analysts like Canalys, Counterpoint,
International Data Corporation (IDC), Gartner, Statcounter, Statista, and more.
4 Overview of the Global Smartphone Industry
A global industry is many companies operating their businesses functional activi-
ties worldwide beyond national boundaries. A company operating under this industry
is called a global company. The Motorola company is the first global mobile phone
brand in the world. Afterward, different companies started their mobile phone busi-
ness worldwide. There are many mobile phone companies globally, most of which
PaperReviewing the Global Smartphone Industry Strategic Implication in Response to COVID
operate their business globally. Among these companies, some are globally recog-
nized. Among all renowned global smartphone brands, the top eleven are tabulated
(see Table 1) with some of their particulars. Each smartphone producer designs, de-
velops, and markets several models from time to time. The demand for mobile is the
most variable one. That is why a model may exist in the market only for six months or
even less.
Table 1. Top branded global smartphone companies with their particulars
No. of
in 2020
Top product
models (series)
Lee Byung-
Seoul, South
Galaxy S, Note,
Z, A, XCover
Ren Zhengfei
Mate, Nova, Y, P,
Enjoy, Lite,
Maimang, As-
cend, U, G, X, M
Steve Jobs,
Steve Wozniak,
Ronald Wayne
3G, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8,
SE, X, 11, 12, 13
Lei Jun
Mi 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6,
8, Play, 9, CC9,
10, 11
Chen Mingyong
F1, 5, 7, 9, 11,
15, 17, A74
Shen Wei
V, Y, X, NEX, S,
Iqoo 3
Sky Li
1, 2, C, U, 3, X,
5, 6, 8
Koo In-hwoi
Seoul, South
G, V, Stylo, W,
K, Q, X, Tribute,
Candy, Velvet,
Aristo, Wing
Liu Chuanzhi
VIBE, K, A, Z, P
Hou Weight
N, Star, Grand X,
Axon, Blade,
Li Dongsheng
MoveTime, 10,
*1958-1995 (Lucky-Gold Star), 1995 (renamed LG-Lifes Good), **1981 (TTK), (2006 merged in Alcatel-
Lucent enterprise, 2016 acquired by NOKIA)
Source: Adopted from [56], [57], [58], [59], [60], [61], [62], [63], [64], [65]
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PaperReviewing the Global Smartphone Industry Strategic Implication in Response to COVID
5 COVID-19 Impact on The Smartphone Industry
Generally, mobile phone companies produce smartphones and feature phones. The
global smartphone industry has an increased sales growth over time. Although in
2017, worldwide smartphone declines 0.5% for the first time Year-Over-Year (Y-o-
Y). However, IDC forecasts mobile phone companies may enjoy a Compound Annual
Growth Rate (CAGR) of 2.8% from 2017 to 2022 with USD 1.68 billion in sales
volume in 2022 [56]. Nevertheless, this assumption may not be proved correct, and
the reason for this variation is COVID-19.
Framingham [66] reports that the global mobile phone industry suffers a Y-o-Y de-
cline in sales in the Q1 of 2020. Canalys [50], Framingham [66], and John [67] report
that global smartphone vendors see a further fall in smartphone sales worldwide inevi-
tably. They mention that global smartphone records worst performance in the Q1 of
2020 with 17% decline (13% Y-o-Y decline) and Q2 with 14% decline (16% Y-o-Y
decline) although Q3 sees a 22% positive growth (1% Y-o-Y decline) from the previ-
ous quarter. In Q4, there is a 3% positive growth (2% Y-o-Y decline) amid the second
wave of pandemics from the previous quarter. In contrast, different scenarios were
seen in Q1 of 2021 with a 4% negative growth (27% Y-o-Y rise) from the previous
quarter. Framingham [66] reports that during the Q1 of 2020, global smartphone
brands shipped 275.8 million units of smartphones, with the highest decline ever over
the last three years. In Q2, Huawei outperforms Samsung for the first time with 55.8
million units shipment compared to 53.7 million Samsung shipments. It has inter-
changed in the Q3 when Huaweis shipment falls 23% Y-o-Y to 51.7 million com-
pared to Samsungs 2% Y-o-Y up to 80.2 million. Oppo outperforms Vivo in Q2 and
vice versa in Q3. In Q4, iPhone outperforms Samsung with 81.8 million unit sales,
19.8 million up from Samsung that position reversed in Q1 of 2021 with 76.5 million
sales and 24.1 million up from iPhone. Overall, in 2020 amid pandemic, the global
smartphone brands growth is negative (2% Y-o-Y decline). Individual annual brand-
wise growth perspectives as: Samsung (256 million, 14% decline), iPhone (207 mil-
lion, 5% growth), Huawei (189 million, 22 decline) Xiaomi (150 million, 19%
growth), Oppo (115 million, 4% decline), others (349 million, 9% decline). Egham
[68] writes, global smartphone sales declined 20% in the Q1 of 2020 due to covid-19
impact. Figure 1 shows the growth scenario of global smartphone shipments.
In Q1, the worlds largest market of this industry, China, experiences an 18% drop
in shipments when this country was in the most affected zone. Next, the USA and
Western Europe also experience drastically decline with around 16% and 18%. In Q3,
global shipments have risen to 348 million units, Q4 359.6 million units, Q1 of 2021
347 million units [50]. In Q3, the China smartphone market again experiences an 8%
declined in the shipment (15% Y-o-Y decline), Q4 decline 4% Y-o-Y fall when Q1 of
2021 sees a 27% rise. Overall, China’s smartphone market is shrunk by 11% (330
million units) in 2020 due to COVID-19. Except for Xiaomi, all other brands’ ship-
ments fall in this market in Q3. This quarter, Huawei places top position with 34 mil-
lion shipments with an 18% Y-o-Y decline and continues this position in Q4, but Q1
of 2021, Vivo places the first position that secures the second position with 15 million
shipments causing a 13% decline in Q3, third position in Q4. Oppo ships 14 million
PaperReviewing the Global Smartphone Industry Strategic Implication in Response to COVID
with an 18% decline in Q3, although it has 20% in Q4 and 22% growth in Q1 in 2021.
Xiaomi ships 11 million with 19% growth in Q3 and 15% in consecutive quarters.
Apple’s shipment in Q3 is 5 million, having a 1% fall, 18% growth in the next quar-
ter, and 13% growth in the consecutive quarter. Other brands ship 4.8 million in Q4
with 6% growth (25% Y-o-Y decline), where Q1 of 2021 has 11% growth (146% Y-
o-Y growth). The following quarters in the Chinese market will see competition with
new product launches with innovation for the 5G launches in the country.
Fig. 1. Quarter-wise scenario for smartphones in respect to units shipped
Source: Canalys and IDC [50], [56]
Singh [69] reports that the worlds second-largest smartphone market, India, is
tremendously affected by COVID-19 falling its sales by 48% in the Q2 of 2020 com-
pared to the likely quarter of the previous year. Nearly 17.5 million smartphones are
shipped, down from 33 million in the same quarter of 2019 that was 33.5 million in
Q1 in 2020. This frustrating scene has changed drastically in Q3 with an 8% growth
rate. Surprisingly, its shipments rise (13% Y-o-Y growth) in Q4 with 43.9 million
smartphones. However, in Q1, India was not mostly affected; rather, their shipments
grow by 4%. On the contrary, Canalys [50] reports that India experiences a 48% de-
cline in the Q2, 50.6% according to John [67], with 18.4 million units shipped com-
pared to 36.8 million in the previous year. Xiaomi, Indias largest smartphone vendor
since 2018, ships the largest quantity in Q2, declining around 29.4% market share
[67]. Xiaomi sells additional 14.5 million units in Q3 from the previous quarter, mak-
ing it the leading position, whereas 12 million shipped in Q4. The second dominant
company, Samsung, which once occupies 26.3% of the market share, declines ship-
ment by 48.5% Y-o-Y in Q2. Nevertheless, in the third and fourth consecutive quar-
ters, Samsung regains its second position. This change occurs due to demand fluctua-
tion for increasing sales of non-Chinese products for anti-Chinese sentiment in India.
Again, Samsung ramps up low to mid-ranged products with an additional discount
and other facilities. Vivo captures around 21.5% market share with 3.7 million unit
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PaperReviewing the Global Smartphone Industry Strategic Implication in Response to COVID
shipment in Q2 remains at the same position with around 18% incremental sales in
third and Q4. Subsequently, Realme and Oppo gain 17% and 6% growth, respectively
place fourth and fifth positions in Q2 and Q3, whereas Oppo places the fourth posi-
tion in Q4 with 13% market share (23% Y-o-Y growth). To recoup the loss, most of
the brands introduce new models in the country. These smartphone companies, e.g.,
Xiaomi, Vivo, Oppo, and more, might avoid backlash as other atypical companies like
Samsung, Nokia, Apple are very price competitive. Apples iPhone that covers only a
1% share in Indias market, still dominates the premium segment of the smartphone
market, is affected with a 20% Y-o-Y fall in shipment in Q2. It regains momentum
with 0.8 million sales in the Q3 due to opening a direct online store. However, it
needs to focus on revising its pricing strategy to keep this position sustainable.
Samsung News Room [70] publishes the worlds largest global smartphone brand
quarterly data. According to the report, Samsung’s smartphone profitability remains
solid in Q2 with increased shipments among the market competition in the Q3 of
2020. The demand for the smartphone in North American, European, and global mar-
kets decreases Quarter-over-Quarter (Q-o-Q) amid lockdown situation despite re-
duced marketing costs and offline promotions and efficient cost management make it
possible for solid profits. It suffers from a 29% decline in global shipment Y-o-Y in
Q2, 2% positive growth in Q3, and a 12% fall in Q4 [67]. Hence, this company ex-
pects to achieve increased smartphone sales anchored by a strong product mix intro-
ducing flagship, galaxy note, and foldable phone models [68]. Although uncertainty
persists, the next quarters overall market will recover gradually by responding to
demand in various regions by strengthening the market lineup amid COVID-19. Sam-
sung explores business growth opportunities instead of delayed deployment of 5G
services due to coronavirus pandemic globally. Shortly after this initiative, the com-
pany overcomes its challenges in Q3 with 80 million shipments in this pandemic
situation. From the industry participation and performance, Samsung’s global
smartphone industry position is first.
Apple was affected by closing their factories in China temporarily, resulting in
supply constraints and negative sales growth of 41 million units (8.2%). iPhone starts
global momentum at the eve of 2020, introducing a new product line and online chan-
nel that help the company reach record level (25% Y-o-Y growth) in the Q2 when
they ship 45.1 million units. The scenario slightly changes in the Q3, with around 43
million shipments, a 1% Y-o-Y decline. Apples iPhone 11 continues best seller at
nearly 40% of their total sales volume. Overwhelmingly, iPhone’s salsas reach 81.8
million (4% Y-o-Y growth) in Q4, recognizing it at top position due to its explicit
demand for iPhone 12. This performance gives it the second position in the industry
with 5% Y-o-Y annual growth in 2020.
Huawei, the world’s third (first in Q2, second in Q3, and third in Q4) largest
smartphone company, sales decline to 42.5 million units (27.3% Y-o-Y decline) in the
Q1 of 2020, with a 14.2% market share. Its total shipment records 56 million in Q2,
52 million in Q3, and 32 million in Q4 with a 30%, 23%, 63% Y-o-Y fall, respective-
ly, the worst performer in the year (22% Y-o-Y decline) among top brands. It has
launched the Huawei Mobile Service (HMS) ecosystem, but it cannot create new
buyers globally with a lack of Google apps and Google play store. Oppo faces a
PaperReviewing the Global Smartphone Industry Strategic Implication in Response to COVID
19.1% decline in smartphone sales, but its online channel will strengthen its sales
volume. Base on the performance of Huawei, it places 3rd in the industry.
Egham [68] reports that people stop buying nonessential products at the first spike
of COVID-19 and decline consumer spending because of global shelter-in-place. How
can these issues affect this industry? A general analysis is shown in Table 2. The table
shows that the top 11 global smartphone brands occupy more than 80% in 2018,
around 90% in 2019, and around 84% in 2020 global market share. Samsung ranks
top in the Q3 of 2020 with a 23% market share, and Huawei second having a market
share of 15% though Huawei achieves a top position in the Q2 [67]. Other popular
brands are having a market share of around 12% by iPhone, 14% by Xiaomi, 8% by
Oppo, 9% by Vivo, 2% by Realme, 2% by LG, 1% by Lenovo, and remaining by
ZTE, TCL, Nokia, Sony, Micromax, Asus, Mobicel, General Mobile, Google Pixels,
and so forth [63]. From the table, we can guess that between 2018, 2019, and 2020
there are some differences in performance among top giant smartphone companies. At
each quarter, some variation in smartphone brands performance is seen. A Q-o-Q
decline in smartphone shipments to market as 13% in Q1, 14% in Q2, 1% in Q3, and
2% in Q4, resulting in a 7% annual decline. But an exception is seen in Q1 of 2021
with 27% Q-o-Q growth. Significant differences are seen in the Q4 of 2019, Q1, and
Q2 of 2020 regarding units sold, resulting in changing revenue and profit, and market
sharing. As we know, COVID-19 first infects at the end of the last quarter of 2019
and spread worldwide quickly. The significant differences are seen afterward. This
scenario illustrates the negative impact of COVID-19 on smartphone companies in the
earlier quarters of 2020, which has started to overcome in later quarters. Although the
actual impact can be measured after the pandemic situation overcomes with in-depth
analysis based on time series data, we can say that this effect is not as alarming as
other industries as we see surrounding us.
Many industries are badly affected by COVID-19, such as the manufacturing sec-
tors like readymade garments, footwear, apparel, jewelry, accessories. Then, service
sectors like education, restaurant, tourism, transport, especially civil aviation [71],
film and media; bureaucratic relationship like export-import, expatriate. We can see
that some sectors like technology, treatment, medicine, e-learning, social media,
working at home have been increased. As COVID-19 harms the physical classroom,
educationalists explore and find alternative ways of delivering lectures through online
platforms. In this perspective, demand for smartphone devices has increased many
folds among students and teachers of all levels from schools to universities [72].
Mobile Learning (M-learning) uses mobile devices like smartphones, tablets,
PDAs, MP3s, and pocket PCs in teaching and learning to study and practice [76]. It
allows students anytime, anywhere, learning opportunities without limitations [76].
M-learning applications are an effective tool for learning and teaching in preschool
education. According to Global System for Mobile Communications (GSM), M-
learning helps teach children as it helps in enhancing motivation, fluency, collabora-
tion, and reading skills [77]. Students also recognize these applications as the fulfill-
ment of their educational requirements [78]. Karabatzaki et al. [79] mention that the
quick penetrations of smart devices among student folks enable designing proper
learning methods to improve their learning. The study of Rojas-Osorio and Alvarez-
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PaperReviewing the Global Smartphone Industry Strategic Implication in Response to COVID
Risco [80] finds that students continuance intention of using the smartphone of Peru-
vian university is influenced significantly by perceived ease of use, perceived useful-
ness, and attitude toward using a smartphone.
Table 2. Top listed global smartphone brands market analysis showing pandemic impact
Yearly Units Sold (units in millions)
Yearly Sales
Revenue (USD
in billion)
Yearly Net
Income (USD
in billion)
Market Share (%)
Source: Adopted from [50], [56], [63], [61], [73], [57], [59], [58], [60], [74], [62], [64], [65], [75]
A study by Alwraikat and Al Tokhaim [81] reveals that the faculty members atti-
tudes of King Saud University in Saudi Arabia for mobile learning are positive. Poly-
akova [82] states, industry 4.0 needs now or will need in the immediate future Edu-
cation 4.0 (p. 5), and this concept is much appropriate than ever before in recent time
due to rapid societal changes for the increasing spread of COVID-19 throughout the
world. TV news performed by Sarowar [83] reports on August 14 that in Bangladesh,
peoples dependency on technology has increased due to COVID-19. However, it has
confined their lives because they are dependent on online platforms to remove their
stagnation to bring normality in schooling, shopping even in treatment. As a result,
despite COVID-19 reducing the ability to buy, it enhances the demand for
smartphones, laptops, and other smart online gadgets. As a smartphone is cheaper
than a laptop that can fulfill the demand for online classes, shopping, and office work,
people get interested in purchasing it. This demand is increased as markets start to
open from May 10 partially and almost fully after Eid-Ul-Adha, and consequently,
people start purchasing a new smartphone. Wieland and Kollias [84] study online
learning before, during, and after COVID-19, indicating that people are pushed to
online platforms overnight during this pandemic. Especially in teaching-learning
PaperReviewing the Global Smartphone Industry Strategic Implication in Response to COVID
phenomena, and it is predicted that after the pandemic, we will experience refinement
in teaching and engaging students due to our settlement in the new normal. When
face-to-face classes resume, there will be a dramatic shift in setting up safeguards to
ensure only online mode at any time and keep the best practices that already have
been achieved. Thus the necessity and use of smartphones will persist.
6 Strategic Directions and Recommendations
6.1 Competitive approaches
Strategy is an ancient concept. It is a military term. Chinese military general and
philosopher Sun Tzu (545 BC-470 BC) wrote a book named The Art of War,” which
is considered as the basis of strategy. Military people use this term to defeat enemies
in the war these days and also today. Likewise, business people started using this term
to outcompete rivals and achieve success in their business. Hill et al. [85] define strat-
egy as a course of actions used to outcompete rivals. These actions include attracting
and pleasing customers, competing successfully, conducting operations efficiently,
and achieving targeted performance levels.
Strategic management is the strategic decision of strategic leaders to formulate and
implement strategies. They also mention that competitive advantage is the ability of a
company to outperform its competitors to earn higher margins. The source of this
advantage is to create value for customers. A sustained competitive advantage comes
from maintaining these higher margins over a more extended time. Porter [86], the
Harvard business school professor, introduces the five competitive forces model
widely known as Porters five competitive forces model. According to him, the idea
of developing a strategy is to sustain the competitive advantage. Intense competition
is not an unusual thing, although it is a common problem for the industry. Due to the
COVID-19 pandemic situation in the current time, the pattern of competition in the
smartphone industry has increased many folds, and companies need to adapt strategies
to sustain and achieve success in this situation. Porters five forces model is used as a
framework for assessing and evaluating a companys competitive position. Hence it is
recommended for industry participants to follow the widely accepted model as this
model is beneficial for smartphone companies to strengthen their market position. As
suggested by Porter in 1976, the five forces are discussed herein in light of the global
smartphone industry from a strategic perspective.
Any time new companies can enter into the industry and create a threat for existing
companies is known as potential new entrants. These companies are not in the indus-
try now, but they can choose to enter as they have the capability. Nowadays, we see
many emerging smartphone companies entering the industry by adding facilities for
users. Any time a new company may expand its business globally with many innova-
tive products with superior quality can threaten existing top-ranked brands. To deal
with this threat, existing global brands can use the capability of achieving economies
of scale, brand loyalty, absolute cost structure. It is hard for the potential new entrant
to be a new market participant in a current turbulent situation. The economic condi-
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PaperReviewing the Global Smartphone Industry Strategic Implication in Response to COVID
tion has been worsening; hence, global smartphone brands need not worry about this
When other industry products fulfill the same kind of buyer needs is known as sub-
stitute products. Close substitutes create a powerful competitive weapon as they limit
companies’ prices for their product. Other things being equal, companies in the indus-
try have the opportunity to raise prices and earn additional profits [87]. The
smartphone industry has the substitute products like laptops, tablet PC, desktop com-
puters, and internet communication sites and apps. Already this industry is prevalent
over these substitute products for their acceptance as most effective mobile nature to
customers; it requires a bit of emphasis on this force, especially in the COVID-19
situation. Hence to reduce the risk of substitute products, the industry should have a
good policy.
The parts, materials, components, labor are supplied from the suppliers that pos-
sess some kind of bargaining power. Suppliers become powerful when their supplied
products are vital for the industry where there are very few suppliers, and the industry
is not an essential buy for suppliers [87]. Most global smartphone companies produce
the required raw materials on their own; thus, the dependency on suppliers is less, and
suppliers cannot apply bargaining power to the significant global smartphone compa-
Smartphone industry products can be bought by companies like a wholesaler, dis-
tributor, or consumer. These buyers are influential when they are dominant [87]. In
general, global smartphone brands sell their products through their outlets and with
other independent distributors. In this case, the buyer can have relative bargaining
power on their business activity as they have little or no switching costs. However, the
industry needs to please the end-users by providing quality products at a low cost to
satisfactory post-sale services. This force is crucial because achieving customer satis-
faction is very important to retain existing customers and create new customers. The
maximum success of smartphone brands depends on achieving buyers satisfaction.
So, it is recommended for global smartphone producers to focus on managing the
bargaining power of customers both in the pandemic situation and in a new normal
situation to become successful. In response, they should enhance their product quality,
be more responsive to customer needs, become more efficient, and reduce cost.
The most challenging task of any company is to compete in the industry with exist-
ing competitors. This challenge results in rivalry among existing industry participants.
The intensity of the other four forces also puts pressure on this force. For this indus-
try, except for the bargaining power of customers, no other forces are crucial to hinder
its progress. We see massive competition among the existing smartphone industry
participants worldwide to gain market share in this industry. The top-rated global
smartphone brands have been successfully operating their businesses, likely Samsung,
Huawei, iPhone, Xiaomi, Oppo, and others. Nevertheless, exceptions seen like Nokia,
Microsoft, and Motorola could not stand out. As discussed earlier, coronavirus has
changed the way of doing business; it also intensifies competition among existing
companies. So, it is evident that there is vast rivalry among existing global
smartphone companies. Here, to become successful, companies must adopt a viable
PaperReviewing the Global Smartphone Industry Strategic Implication in Response to COVID
6.2 Strategic approaches
The five generic competitive approaches suggested by Thompson and Strickland
[87], which is an author-expanded version of a three-strategy classification discussed
by Porter [86], stand out. It is also recommended that smartphone companies adopt
any of the approaches based on the resource strength and market position. Each of
these approaches stakes out a different market position. Each involves distinctively
different approaches to competing and operating the business. Firstly, this strategy is
not feasible for top-listed brands in a low-cost provider strategy for global smartphone
brands. Because this strategy can mislead and revert the customers from purchasing
with the notion that a cheap product is a bad product, however, it can be a helpful
approach for companies lagging far behind industry positions. Secondly, this strategy
is very suitable for global brands with much customer reliability and trust in a broad
differentiation strategy. They are not price concerned; instead, they focus on product
quality and added attributes or features. Top smartphone brands are encouraged to
adopt this strategy. Thirdly, the best-cost provider strategy is not suitable for premi-
um product producer companies. Instead, companies having moderate customer con-
fidence in quality and service who are at the same time price-sensitive can pursue this
strategy. Fourthly, a focused (or market niche) strategy based on low costs is feasible
in markets where niche customer groups are highly-priced sensitive. Companies hav-
ing low customer trust in quality and service should target to grab these groups
needs. Finally, a focused (or market niche) strategy based on differentiation is effec-
tive for those companies that produce highly qualitative products and set premium
prices for these products.
According to data from GSMA intelligence [2], the world will be connected by 1.8
billion 5G users by 2025, where developed Asia (50%), USA (48%), and Europe
(34%) will lead the way. As a result, smartphone demand will persist. Considering the
current market condition, along with the existing strategy discussed, the author sug-
gests the next strategic moves for the global smartphone industry.
Smartphone companies require, if pandemic sustains longer, resulting in an inter-
ruption in the supply of products, finding alternative ways to efficient supply chain
network. No current demands should be unmet for a particular brand and model. In
this case, routes like self-managed and self-financed cargo may be introduced. Before
doing so, it is necessary to get permission by convincing or making a consensus be-
tween the industry and government or appropriate regulatory agencies. On the other
hand, proactive initiatives and reactive adjustments must be taken to tackle further
natural disasters like COVID-19.
To trace and determine the demand requirement, industrialists should focus on
online ordering systems globally and regionally. Based on the demand, it is needed to
produce the products (pull strategy). A push marketing strategy is not appropriate in
this current market situation.
The global smartphone industry must not stop innovation in new products and
model launches. Instead, companies should focus on specific customer demand (mar-
ket niche strategy) to serve them well. In this regard, developing a long-life battery,
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PaperReviewing the Global Smartphone Industry Strategic Implication in Response to COVID
better surfing capability, transparent sound system, supporting all kinds of applica-
tions are essential points to consider.
7 Conclusion and Future Research Direction
This paper tries to show the global smartphone brands current market position
based on the units sold, revenue generated, profit earned, customer demand, markets
served, and market share occupied. Again, the current market situation is discussed in
and out of pandemic conditions. Furthermore, the strategic implications during and
after the pandemic situation have been outlined. This study is designed to realize the
impact of COVID-19 on this industry. From the study, we assume that the industry is
neglected due to the pandemic situation. However, other positive impacts are also
seen for some other sectors. Like education sectors going online, telecommunications
sectors increased demand for more communications, other different sectors work
from home creates a dire need for having a smart device as a mandatory tool acceler-
ate the attractiveness for this industry. It has increased demand for global smartphone
brands worldwide despite the reduced purchasing ability of customers and impedi-
ment of the supply chain. Again, it is also assumed that global brand demand will
increase in the future that will sustain for a long time. As a result, the industry will
appear more competitive than earlier compared to the pandemic situation.
Consequently, global smartphone brands must be more strategic to outcompete and
outperform their rival companies. As we know, the primary competitive weapon and
maintaining the quality, efficiency, innovation, and customer responsiveness where
the company needs to focus on its outer environment. To cope with this environment,
following Porters forces model and strategic approaches rigorously, along with other
suggestions given by the author, might result in an excellent competitive position. As
a result, it is expected that the global smartphone brands can sustain in the pandemic
time and the new normal situation after COVID-19.
It can be concluded with remarks that our research community can conduct insight-
ful and detailed research in this field of the global smartphone industry rigorously,
showing the actual impact of COVID-19 at the end of the pandemic situation from a
macro-level perspective. In this case, the research question can be formulated as to
what impacts COVID-19 has on the mobile phone industry? An appropriate question-
naire designed should be formulated to collect answer the research question. Again, a
more effective strategic direction should be developed to strengthen the industry posi-
tion. Another important thing this study omits, the industry-specific micro-level anal-
ysis that needs to be addressed. In this perspective, the small brands in this industry
should be included to visualize the entire scenario in this smartphone industry. The
study should focus on collecting primary data from the industrys authentic sources.
In-depth interviews with industry participants as well as the customers may be con-
ducted. Again, studies can be conducted at the micro-level based on a single country
or market to show the market or company-specific scenario of the smartphone indus-
PaperReviewing the Global Smartphone Industry Strategic Implication in Response to COVID
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9 Author
Samsul Alam is a Senior Lecturer (MIS) at the Department of Business Admin-
istration, Daffodil International University, Bangladesh. His current research interests
cover many research topics in the Management Information Systems and business
fields, including digital education, fintech, E-commerce, smart city/home, IoT, ethics,
telecommunications, ERP, global economy, and other business and social science-
related contemporary issues and thoughts. Email:
Article submitted 2020-09-26. Resubmitted 2021-05-26. Final acceptance 2021-05-26. Final version
published as submitted by the authors.
... The demand for the use of mobile devices in education, the media, business and entertainment is increasing. It is projected that the growth rate of mobile device sales from 2017 to 2022 will be 2.8% per year despite the fact that the progress of the global mobile device industry has significantly decreased over the period of 2020 (by 17%) (Alam, 2021). Therefore, many educational institutions were forced to immediately create projects to improve curricula and to revise a number of pedagogical practices basing them on the concept of modern mobile learning (Kozyreva & Olkhova, 2020). ...
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The study considers the features of the algorithms of educational mobile games. The research analyzes the main functions and characteristics of 55 educational mobile games. The system of each mobile application for learning a foreign language consists of 13 key algorithms. An experiment involving three Russian (342 participants) higher educational institutions and two Kazakh (158 participants) universities was conducted. The experiment was based on the analysis and comparison of the effectiveness of Quizlet and Memrise (the first stage of the study), Tandem and ELSASpeak (the second stage of the study) with traditional learning methods (textbooks, notes, classroom lessons with teachers). The results indicate that students memorize 80-90% of vocabulary with the help of mobile applications. The synthesis of traditional learning methods and mobile pedagogy is the most effective. The results of the study can be used as an aid when using mobile learning methods in teaching foreign languages.
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Digital technologies are being harnessed to support the public-health response to COVID-19 worldwide, including population surveillance, case identification, contact tracing and evaluation of interventions on the basis of mobility data and communication with the public. These rapid responses leverage billions of mobile phones, large online datasets, connected devices, relatively low-cost computing resources and advances in machine learning and natural language processing. This Review aims to capture the breadth of digital innovations for the public-health response to COVID-19 worldwide and their limitations, and barriers to their implementation, including legal, ethical and privacy barriers, as well as organizational and workforce barriers. The future of public health is likely to become increasingly digital, and we review the need for the alignment of international strategies for the regulation, evaluation and use of digital technologies to strengthen pandemic management, and future preparedness for COVID-19 and other infectious diseases. The COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in an accelerated development of applications for digital health, including symptom monitoring and contact tracing. Their potential is wide ranging and must be integrated into conventional approaches to public health for best effect.
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This paper discusses the economic features of the current Covid-19 outbreak and its relation to labour markets and new skills in demand. At the same time, it focuses on how it started to expand worldwide, while reporting the ways of transmission and their effects on daily social and professional life. It is argued that focusing on skills and human capital could offer a strong foundation for building sustainable economies, as the recent months have been a suitable period to progress and advance digital skills, thus reducing digital illiteracy, while at the same time developing certain major sectors such as online education, ecommerce, telemedicine, entertainment, digital collaboration tools, virtual reality applications, etc. The author mainly focuses on the analysis of the recent global trends in many affected sectors, examines possible unemployment issues with an emphasis on the kind of new skills and soft skills in demand that are necessary for an easier transition to the new Covid-19 way of life.
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As the COVID-19 pandemic and its economic fallout continue, policymakers keep a watchful eye on the stability of the financial system. Having learned many lessons from the financial crisis of 2007–2009, they may again turn to that crisis for insights into potential vulnerabilities emerging in the financial sector and ways to make financial markets and institutions more resilient to shocks. At a recent conference on financial stability, 12 papers and two keynotes explored this ground. This Commentary summarizes the papers’ findings and the keynotes.
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The paper discusses past virtuous growth cycles in India and argues that the post Covid-19 macro-financial package is an opportunity to trigger another such cycle by raising marginal propensities to spend above those to save. This is feasible since the major constraints that aborted such cycles in the past are waning. Among these constraints are commodity price shocks and other supply-side bottlenecks; financial repression and discretionary allocation; and fiscal space. While the first constraint is relieved, and there is adequate progress on the others, fiscal space is still constrained. Even so, the Covid-19 crisis necessitates a large macroeconomic stimulus. In order not to overstrain government finances it should be targeted, temporary and self-limiting. Financing features can aid this as well as improve financial stability. Large government assets can be monetized to help restructure towards more effective government spending. Specific policy implications are drawn out.
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The paper investigates the stock market response to COVID-19 induced financial uncertainty and the role of pre-shock firm-specific characteristics in shaping such stock market behaviour using a sample of S&P BSE 500 companies. Initially, the stock market experiences a significant downfall due to COVID-19 induced uncertainty; although, the market appears to rebound after a major setback. Downfall and recovery are quite surprising as downfall happened when cases were extremely small in number and there was no nation-wide lockdown announcement yet. Recovery happened when strict lockdowns were enforced and cases were rising significantly. Stock market reaction were heterogeneous among industries and various firm characteristics. On closer analysis, we find that some firms are more resilient to COVID-19 shock than others. Our analysis reveals that the most affected were small-sized, high beta, loser, and low-profitability firms as indicated by univariate analysis. The multivariate analysis finds momentum, profitability, beta, market capitalization, age, and book-to-market ratio to be the major determinants of cross-sectional CARs during downfall & recovery period. The study provides evidence of the negative reaction to COVID-19 induced uncertainty and subsequent recovery. We concludes that pre-COVID firm-specific factors play an essential role in explaining the variation in the stock market reaction to COVID-19 induced uncertainty.
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Background: Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is an ongoing pandemic and life-threatening highly infectious disease. The people of Bangladesh are at high risk of COVID-19 and have already experienced various socio-economic, health and psychological (mental) consequences. Particularly, mental health problems are dominantly reported in the literature and should be controlled. The main objective of this epidemiological study is to assess the mental distress and identify its determinants using online-based survey. Such information is urgently needed to develop feasible strategies for Bangladesh. Methods: An online survey was conducted for this study from May 01 to May 05, 2020. A total of 240 respondents provided self-reported online responses. Respondent’s mental distress was measured by the General Health Questionnaire 12 (GHQ-12) and by the self-rated mental health (SRMH) question. Various kinds of statistical analyses ranging from simple to multivariable logistic recession were performed using SPSS 23.0. Results: About 31.3% and 48.3% of respondents were mentally distressed by GHQ-12 and SRMH question, respectively. Logistic regression analysis revealed that mental distress was significantly higher among those respondents, whose usual activity was affected by the coronavirus (OR = 6.40, 95% CI: 1.87 - 21.90, p<0.001) and whose financial stress was increased due to lockdown (OR = 2.12, 95% CI: 1.01 – 4.46, p<0.05) on GHQ-12. Female sex (OR = 1.97, 95% CI: 1.03 – 3.75, p<0.05) and respondents with poor mental health before the outbreak (OR = 3.38, 95% CI: 1.18 – 9.72, p<0.05) were also significantly affected by mental distress on SRMH. Conclusions: At least thirty percent of the respondents were found to be mentally distressed. Some of the study findings, particularly significant determinants, should be considered while developing strategies to reduce the burden of mental distress among study respondents or similar group in Bangladesh.
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As COVID-19 spreads across the globe, a common public policy response has been to enforce the temporary closure of non-essential business activity. In some countries, governments have underwritten a proportion of the wage income for staff forced to furlough or broadened their welfare systems to accommodate newly laid off workers or small business owners. While these actions are helpful, they do not explicitly address the lack of sales trading activity on business income and cash balances. In commentary, we identify what types of businesses have been increasing their cash holdings in the lead up to COVID-19 as an indication of what types of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) are most at risk if the lockdown extends for a protracted period of time. We find that only 39% of the of businesses were bolstering their cash balances leading up to COVID-19 which suggests that 61% of businesses may run out of cash, including 8.6% that had no retained earnings whatsoever with micro firms at particular risk. The importance of precautionary saving for SMEs is critical to enhance resilience when Black Swan events occur.
No previous infectious disease outbreak, including the Spanish Flu, has affected the stock market as forcefully as the COVID-19 pandemic. In fact, previous pandemics left only mild traces on the U.S. stock market. We use text-based methods to develop these points with respect to large daily stock market moves back to 1900 and with respect to overall stock market volatility back to 1985. We also evaluate potential explanations for the unprecedented stock market reaction to the COVID-19 pandemic. The evidence we amass suggests that government restrictions on commercial activity and voluntary social distancing, operating with powerful effects in a service-oriented economy, are the main reasons the U.S. stock market reacted so much more forcefully to COVID-19 than to previous pandemics in 1918–1919, 1957–1958, and 1968.
p>Natalie Wieland has been delivering online learning for over 15 years as both a lecturer and workplace trainer. In her paper, she reflects on how digital learning has evolved from the days of moving PowerPoints to the highly polished and produced modules with an equally high price. Natalie reviews the first response during COVID-19 when so many rushed to deliver their content online, using tools such as Zoom. Natalie also provides her thoughts on what we have learned during this period, including the need to provide synchronous and asynchronous learning, the need to include the educator in the process and empower them with digital tools to create online content and the need to make online learning authentic and not over produced. It is still content and design that is critical. She also offers some predictions around what the future will look like with digital learning in the workplace, with lessons we have all learned. </p