2020 Global Smartphone Sales: Despite 14% drop in sales, Samsung sold the most phones last year, Apple tops the fourth quarter

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  • Worldwide Smartphone Sales; Worldwide Smartphone Sales Down 5% In Q4, But Apple Back On Top: Gartner

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Global research and advisory firm Gartner reported in its report that worldwide smartphone sales declined by 5.4% in the fourth quarter of 2020. Speaking of the full year, global smartphone sales have fallen by 12.5%. Samsung sold the most phones in the entire year, while Apple was on top in the fourth quarter.

Samsung got challenge from Chinese companies
Samsung reported a 14.6% drop in annual sales in 2020. However, the company became the world’s largest smartphone vendor by selling more than 2.53 lakh phones in a full year. It faced stiff competition from regional smartphone vendors such as Xiaomi, Oppo and Vivo as these brands held a strong hold in global markets.

Only Apple and Xiaomi gain in annual sales
In 2020, Apple and Xiaomi were the only two smartphone vendors among the top-5 companies that registered annual sales growth. At the same time, Huawei recorded the highest decline in annual sales by 24.1%. Gartner said that the ban on the use of the Google application on Huawei smartphones had a negative impact on its sales.

Global smartphone sales declined 5.4% in the fourth quarter of 2020

According to the fourth quarter data, only three companies gained sales, including Apple, Xiaomi and Oppo. Over 3.84 lakh smartphones were sold worldwide in the fourth quarter. This is a decline of 5.4% compared to the fourth quarter of 2019.

Apple’s 5G iPhone boosts company’s growth
The launch of the 5G iPhone 12 Series helped Apple achieve double digit growth in the fourth quarter of 2020. Apple sold a total of 79,942 iPhones in the fourth quarter of 2020, a 14.9% increase from the fourth quarter of 2019. While the company sold more than 1.99 lakh phones throughout the year. According to the report, Apple became the largest smartphone vendor in the fourth quarter, overtaking Samsung. The last time Apple was the largest smartphone vendor in the fourth quarter for 2016.

5G and cheaper smartphones reduce decline
Anshul Gupta, Senior Research Director, Gartner, said that 5G smartphones and low-to-mid budget smartphone sales moderated the market decline in the fourth quarter of 2020. Due to the epidemic where the consumer had cut non-urgent expenses, the 5G smartphone and pro-camera features encouraged some users to buy a new smartphone or upgrade the current smartphone.

5G smartphones will help boost sales in 2021
Gupta said, the availability of lower end 5G smartphones and innovative features in 2021 will encourage users to upgrade their existing smartphones. Increasing demand for affordable 5G smartphones outside China will boost smartphone sales in 2021.

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