Plunge in global smartphone shipments

 

San Francisco - Smartphone shipments took an historic plunge last month as the novel coronavirus disrupted supply and demand, industry tracker Strategy Analytics said on Friday. Global smartphone shipments dropped to 61.8 million in February, a 38 percent drop from the same month a year earlier. “February 2020 saw the biggest fall ever in the history of the worldwide smartphone market,” said Strategy Analytics executive director Neil Mawston. “It is a period the smartphone industry will want to forget.” Smartphone supply and demand plummeted in China and across Asia, and slowed in the rest of the world, Mawston added. “Some Asian factories were unable to manufacture smartphones, while many consumers were unable or unwilling to visit retail stores and buy new devices,” said Strategy Analytics. Despite tentative signs of recovery in China, global smartphone shipments are expected to remain weak through March. “Hundreds of millions of affluent consumers are in lockdown, unable or unwilling to shop for new devices,” the industry tracking company said. “The smartphone industry will have to work harder than ever to lift sales in the coming weeks, such as online flash sales or generous discounts on bundling with hot products.”

 

Greek quake damages buildings, no casualties reported

 

Athens - A strong 5.6 magnitude earthquake struck early Saturday in northwest Greece, damaging property in the city of Parga, authorities said. The quake struck at 0049 GMT (0249 local time), with the epicentre 11 kilometres (around six miles) from Parga in Kanalaki district, and 316 kilometres northwest of Athens, the Athens geodynamic observatory said. “No casualties have been reported at the moment,” Parga mayor Nikolas Zacharias told AFP by telephone. “Some old abandoned houses in Kanalaki collapsed and some houses suffered significant damage in this district of 2,500 inhabitants,” Zaharias said, adding the temblor was strong throughout the area. Landslides partially damaged the region’s roads, he added. Greece lies on major faultlines and is regularly hit by earthquakes, but they rarely cause casualties. In 2017, a 6.7-magnitude earthquake killed two people on the island of Kos in the Aegean sea, causing significant damage.In 1999, a 5.9-magnitude quake left 143 people dead in Athens and the region northwest of the capital.