Recently, market research firm Gartner released the latest data. The launch of the 5G iPhone 12 series made Apple number one in global smartphone sales in the fourth quarter. Combined with the data released by Gartner, the last time Apple became the largest supplier of smartphones was in 2016. fourth quarter.
Apple launched its 5G lineup in mid-October last year and sold nearly 80 million smartphones in the final three months of 2020, up 15 percent from the same period last year.
Apple also shipped the largest number of iPhones ever, at 81.8 million, to distributors in a single quarter, according to new research from Singapore-based Canalys released late last month. From this perspective, Apple has outperformed Samsung in Q4 sales since 2017.
Image source: Gartner
The last three months of the year are usually the strongest time for Apple’s sales, as Apple launches new iPhones in September, which were delayed until October last year due to supply chain disruptions caused by the coronavirus pandemic. Samsung typically refreshes its flagship Galaxy S phones in February to give a stronger first quarter, but this year Samsung announced new models a month early.
Despite the shrinking market, Apple still posted double-digit sales growth. Global smartphone sales fell 5.4% in the fourth quarter, with smartphone sales falling 12.5% in 2020 compared to the previous year, due to rising unemployment and consumer weakness due to the pandemic, according to Gartner.
“Even if consumers are spending cautiously and delaying some purchases, 5G smartphone and front-facing camera capabilities could encourage some end-users to buy a new smartphone or upgrade the one they are using this quarter.” The company said in a statement. said research director Anshul Gupta.
“The iPhone 12 is a hit,” Canlys analyst Vincent Thielke added in a report last month. “Apple has an edge over its rivals in 5G because it’s heavily skewed toward developed markets and mobile carrier channels.”
While Apple outsold Samsung, Samsung remained in the top spot, with 62 million smartphones sold in the fourth quarter. Sales and competitiveness of Chinese phone makers such as Xiaomi, OPPO and Vivo all fell by 15 percent, with Samsung still maintaining its position as the world’s largest smartphone maker for the year, Gartner said.
Huawei surpassed Samsung in global sales in the second quarter of 2020, but saw the biggest drop among the top five smartphone makers, causing it to lose its second-place spot for the entire year. According to Gartner, Huawei ranked fourth globally in the last three months of last year.
Separately, Gartner said U.S. government sanctions prevented Huawei from using popular Google apps and services on smartphones, denting sales to some extent. Huawei also announced the sale of its smartphone business unit in November. Honor, which may further dent its smartphone sales.
Gartner believes global smartphone sales will pick up this year, driven by growing demand for affordable 5G smartphones outside of China.