Fresh reports from global research and advisory firm, Gartner, have revealed that Apple sold almost 80 million smartphones in the fourth quarter of 2020, the most of any brand.
The figure totalling a landmark 79.9 million units sold, also superseded Samsung’s sale for the first time since 2016’s fourth quarter and marked a gain of 14.9% from their fourth quarter return of 2019, the second biggest increase of any brand.
This late boom was bolstered by Apple’s release of the flagship iPhone 12 in October, which boasted 5G connectivity for the first time ever.
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The last time Apple eclipsed Samsung in sales, they shared the same market share of 18% with the aforementioned slightly tipping their rivals. But this year, they were over 4 percent better than their competitors, amassing 20.8% share to Samsung’s 16.2%.
Samsung, who sold 62.1 million units, a 11.8 percent drop from last year’s fourth quarter, still maintained their rankings as 2020’s best selling smartphone brand with 253 million units sold, a lose of -14.6 percent from last year.
Apple’s sale of 199.8 million units on the other hand, meant they had appreciated in sales by 3.3 percent, but the biggest movers were Xiaomi who gained 15.7 percent more sales than 2019, having gained a stronghold in Africa.
Huawei suffered the worst decline over the 12 months period, with an alarming loss of 24.1 percent, which was worse than all of the other phones not in the top five put together (-19.6).
Gartner attributed this to the side effect of Huawei’s “ban on use of Google applications” on their devices.
The total number of smartphones sold in 2020 was down 12.5% which is relatively low, in consideration of the lengthy closure of stores as well as limited flow of income due to the pandemic.
Gartner senior research director, Anshul Gupta , attributed the bounce back in the fourth quarter to the minimal decline in sales in the whole year,
“The sales of more 5G smartphones and lower-to-mid-tier smartphones minimized the market decline in the fourth quarter of 2020.
“Even as consumers remained cautious in their spending and held off on some discretionary purchases, 5G smartphones and pro-camera features encouraged some end users to purchase new smartphones or upgrade their current smartphones in the quarter.”
Gartner predicted that smartphone brands availing 5G connectivity on their devices will determine the swing of the market in 2021, as they tipped Chinese brands to dominate the market, since their smartphones are “lower end” and “affordable”.
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