Apple continues to be “a mobile company” and the launch of the iPhone 12 has led to an explosion of sales in the last quarter of 2020, according to Gartner data published by our colleagues at MCPRO.
Apple surpassed Samsung in smartphone sales
The Cupertino firm sold 79.9 million iPhones in the quarter for year-on-year growth of 14.9%. Even more important is relevant data that had not happened since 2016: Apple surpassed Samsung in smartphone sales. And by quite a distance. Samsung fell 11.8 percent and was “only” able to sell 62.1 million handsets during the fourth quarter of 2020.
Another big winner of the period was Xiaomi. It grew the most of all mobile vendors selling 43 million units for a 33 percent raise. Huawei, along with Samsung, was the big loser of the quarter and all of 2020. The company has collapsed following Trump’s blockade in the United States and the consequent lack of technological supply from US companies, hardware, and also software.
Today the survival of a manufacturer working with Android is greatly complicated if it does not use Google services. Suffice it to add another fact. OPPO also overtook Huawei in the quarter and relegated Huawei to an unknown fifth position for the manufacturer in recent years.
As for the overall annual 2020, Gartner estimates a drop in smartphone sales far higher than the data from the other major consulting firm, IDC. A 12.5% year-on-year decline to total 1,347 million units. The ‘green shoots’ of the last quarter were not able to compensate for the big drop of previous quarters when consumers opted to buy laptops and not renew their cell phones.
By manufacturers, Samsung is still in the lead and we do not believe that its dominance is in danger, although Apple has come closer due to the take-off of iPhone sales in the last part of the year. Huawei remains in the third position, but is still under pressure from other Chinese manufacturers such as Xiaomi and will have to solve the major problem posed by the US blockade if the new Biden administration considers it necessary.
By 2021, the consultancy is confident that the “democratization” of 5G, with the launch of a good number of mid-range handsets with support for these networks, will be able to boost sales, along with the pent-up demand of 2020 and a lack of hardware components that has the entire technology industry gripped.