2020 was a year that everyone would rather forget. However, it seems like the guys over at Cupertino still had plenty of reason to celebrate. According to a report by Gartner, Apple managed to overtake Samsung in the number of units sold in the fourth quarter of 2020. According to the report, Apple sold 79.9 million iPhone in Q4 2020. On the other hand, Samsung managed to sell 62.1 million units during the same period. Thanks to this, Apple is said to have snagged a market share of 20.8%, while Samsung had a share of 16.2% in Q4 2020. The last time Apple was in a similar position was back in 2016.
However, when looking at 2020 as a whole, Samsung had a pretty comfortable lead with 256 million units sold in the entirety of the year. By comparison, Apple sold 199.8 million units in 2020. However, it should be noted that Samsung’s sales figures are actually lower than what it managed to sell in 2019. That year, the company sold 296.1 million units. This means that Samsung saw a year-on-year decline of about 14.6%, but still managed to hold on to the top crown. However, the South Korean company would want to nip the issue before it loses its crown to second-placed Apple. The Cupertino-based company saw a year-on-year increase of 3.3%.
Another very interesting point to note in Gartner’s report is that global smartphone sales declined by 12.5% in 2020. In fact, Q4 2020 itself saw a decline in 5.4%. “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.”
However, Gupta was pretty optimistic about 2021. “In 2021, the availability of lower end 5G smartphones and innovative features will be deciding factors for end users to upgrade their existing smartphones,” he said. “The rising demand for affordable 5G smartphones outside China will boost smartphone sales in 2021.”
It’s still very early in the year to see how 2021 will pan out. We have already seen Qualcomm and MediaTek have unveiled budget-oriented 5G chipsets. Qualcomm has the Snapdragon 480, while MediaTek has the Dimensity 700.