As you all might have noticed, the coronavirus outbreak is affecting a lot of things in the tech world, from huge conferences to international and domestic travel, among others. Now, Samsung is also blaming coronavirus, officially known as COVID-19, for the new Galaxy S20 line’s horrible initial sales numbers in South Korea.
According to 9to5Google, Samsung sold 70,800 units of the Galaxy S20 line on its first day available in the country. Compared to sales of the Galaxy S10 line released in 2019, which sold 140,000 units in the first day, the numbers are kind of bleak. It gets worse if you compare them to sales of Samsung’s Galaxy Note 10 line, launched last August, which sold 220,000 phones the first day.
Samsung has an explanation for this: coronavirus fears and phone discounts.
The Samsung Galaxy S20 line includes the S20 ($1,349), the S20 Plus ($1,499) and the S20 Ultra ($2,249). The high prices for the phones raised eyebrows, especially considering that consumers are opting for mid-range smartphones nowadays, and fuelled speculation that Samsung sales could fall flat before its initial sales numbers were published.
Samsung is not the first tech company to say that the coronavirus has impacted or will impact its financial performance. This month, Apple announced that it did not expect to meet its revenue forecast for the March quarter.
Apple explained that this was due to the fact that its worldwide iPhone supply would be temporarily constrained because its manufacturing partner sites in China —which are located outside the Hubei province, the centre of the coronavirus outbreak— are ramping up more slowly than expected.
The company added that demand for its products in China had also been affected by the outbreak. Apple closed all its stores in China at the beginning of February because of coronavirus concerns. It reported that many of its partner stores had also been closed. The company has begun to gradually reopen stores in the region. Most will have shorter operating hours.
Microsoft echoed Apple this week, stating that its sales for the third quarter of the 2020 fiscal year would be lower than it predicted because its supply chain had been disrupted due to the coronavirus. The company said the coronavirus outbreak would affect its personal computing business line.
In its Saturday Situation Report, the World Health Organisation (WHO) stated that there were 85,403 confirmed cases of coronavirus worldwide. Of those, 3,150 are in South Korea, which is the region that has been most affected outside China. Globally, 2,924 people have died from the disease.