The iPhone might be one of the most-talked about — and one of the best-selling — smartphone in the world but it has always been other companies that have been ahead of Apple in the race. Samsung consistently does well overall in the smartphone market. However, it seems like the iPhone 12 series has done the trick for Apple. According to a report by Gartner, Apple has emerged as the biggest smartphone brand in the world.
As per Gartner, Apple shipped almost 80 million smartphones in the last quarter, which was much more than all other brands, including Samsung. Notably, this is the first time since 2016 that Apple has sold more phones than Samsung.
In the previous quarter, Apple saw year-on-year growth of 14.9%. During the same period, Samsung’s sales fell by 11.8%. Considering that Apple launches a limited number of devices compared to a vast quantity that Samsung launches, the iPhone 12 — and probably the iPhone 11 — seem to have done quite well globally.
The Gartner research report notes, “The launch of the 5G iPhone 12 series helped Apple record double-digit growth in the fourth quarter of 2020.”
While Samsung may have been left behind in this quarter, it did emerge as the number one player in full year results. “It faced tough competition from regional smartphone vendors such as Xiaomi, Oppo and Vivo as these brands grew more aggressive in global markets,” the report noted. Samsung was number one player despite seeing a 14.6% year-on-year decline. In fact, in 2020, Apple and Xiaomi were the only two smartphone brands in the top 5 to see growth. Apple’s sales increased by 3.3% overall in 2020, as per Gartner.
Globally, sales of smartphones declined by 5.4% in the fourth quarter of 2020, as per Gartner. In 2020, smartphone sales declined by 12.5%.
“The sales of more 5G smartphones and lower-to-mid-tier smartphones minimized the market decline in the fourth quarter of 2020,” said Anshul Gupta, senior research director at Gartner. “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.”
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