2020 was an atypical year. We are still trying to cope with the new normal that the ongoing pandemic has brought upon us. These changes have helped some companies grow their sales as laptops and PCs are essential for work or home study. However, 2020 did not treat every company or market equally. The smartphone market suffered a 6% year-on-year sales decline in the fourth quarter of 2020, resulting in significant losses for everyone but Apple and Samsung.
According to the latest data from Counterpoint, Apple and Samsung were the only OEMs to see positive growth in the final quarter of 2020. Cupertino saw its sales grow thanks to record iPhone 12 sales, while Korean tech giant has to thank Samsung’s Galaxy S20 FE for saving on its quarterly sales.
Research analyst Maurice Klaehne explains why the recently launched iPhone 12 helped Apple grow 14 percent year-on-year in the fourth quarter of 2020. He said, “We have seen two bright spots in the market. Apple had a very strong year-over-year growth period, even with a delayed and staggered launch of the iPhone 12. Demand for new iPhones exceeded supply in many cases as carriers had good promotional offers for both switchers and upgrades, which is not that common occurs. AT & T’s upgrade offers allowed customers to trade in older devices for discounts of up to $ 799. So the iPhone 12 became a free device with a qualifying unlimited tariff and trade-in. The initial wait for the Pro models, especially the iPhone 12 Pro Max, was almost three weeks. Given this strong demand for new iPhones and delivery bottlenecks in the fourth quarter of 2020, we expect sales to affect the first quarter of 2021. “
Senior analyst Hanish Bhatia commented on Samsung’s sales and how the Galaxy S20 FE was the main reason behind the chaebol’s success. He says, “Samsung had a strong quarter too, largely due to the success of the Samsung S20 FE 5G. The OEM even launched a 256GB variant in the quarter to meet continued demand from customers looking to buy a device under $ 1,000. During this COVID-19 period in particular, customers want to spend less money but still want specifications for flagship devices. Trade-in offers are especially attractive when the monthly bill does not increase by more than $ 10-15. Looking ahead to 2021, the introduction of the new Samsung Galaxy S21 solves the pricing issue as each device is $ 200 cheaper than the S20 series. However, January and February tend to be a lull in the market and given Apple’s current momentum, Samsung will have fewer opportunities to capitalize on it. “
Now we just have to wait and see how 2021 develops. The Samsung Galaxy S21 series was recently launched. Its aggressive pricing, deals, and trade-in discounts may give it a chance to battle the iPhone 12’s momentum, even though Samsung may not expect its newest flagship to sell as well as its predecessors.
Source counterpoint research
A former bilingual teacher who left the classrooms to join the Pocketnow team as news editors and content creators for the Spanish audience. An artist by nature who likes video games, guitars, action figures, cooking, painting, drawing, and good music.