Phone sales

Apple beats Samsung in phone sales for the first time since 2016

Apple overtook Samsung to become the world’s top seller of smartphones in the fourth quarter of 2020, according to a new data report by research firm Gartner. Samsung had outsold Apple since the same quarter in 2016.

Gartner estimates that Apple sold 79.94 million during the quarter, while Samsung managed to sell 62.17 million. Samsung did not release any new flagship phones this quarter. Apple’s sales were driven by the introduction of the new iPhone 12 line, which generally outsold the previous year’s iPhone updates. Apple sold 69.6 million iPhones in the fourth quarter of 2019.

However, this victory for Apple came against the backdrop of a general decline in the smartphone market. Overall smartphone sales fell 12.5% ​​in 2020 and 5.4% in the fourth quarter.

The lower rate of decline in the quarter compared to the rest of the year was attributed to “sales of more 5G smartphones and low- to mid-level smartphones,” according to Gartner’s Anshul Gupta.

Samsung saw an overall decline in smartphone sales through 2020 of 14.6%, although the company still remained the top seller of smartphones throughout the year regardless of Apple’s win in the fourth trimester. Gartner notes that Samsung faces stiff competition in many markets from Xiaomi, OPPO and Vivo, all of which grew during the year.

Meanwhile, a beleaguered Huawei saw the biggest drop in sales of the year. Its sales fell 24.1%. Gupta said smartphone sales in 2021 will be driven by adoption of 5G phones outside of China.

However, not all iPhone 12 models sell equally. We reported earlier this month that the iPhone 12 mini moved far fewer units than the iPhone 12 or even the iPhone 12 Pro – bad news for lovers of small phones. Nevertheless, some analysts and leakers predict the mini size will return to the iPhone 13 lineup later this year.

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