Phones

Apple beats Samsung in smartphone gross sales for the primary time in 5 years

While the latest Gartner smartphone sales report shows that global smartphone sales fell by 5% in the fourth quarter of 2020, Apple secured the top spot for the first time since 2016.

We’ve seen Samsung and Huawei battle for that top spot for a number of years, but after releasing the four new iPhone 12 models in fall 2020, Apple overtook both of them in the fourth quarter with 20.8% of the global smartphone market. Huawei continues to drop the list, with Xiaomi taking third place and OPPO fourth.

Likewise: Smartphones: After a stagnation and a decline, here’s what happens

Given Apple’s annual release schedule, we see the biggest impact from Apple in the fourth quarter. Looking at the data for the full year 2020, Samsung comes in first with 18.8% and Apple in second place with 14.8%. Samsung saw sales decline in 2020. Along with Xiaomi, Apple was one of the few to see year-round growth.

Looking ahead to 2021, Gartner Senior Research Director Anshul Gupta said, “The availability of lower-priced 5G smartphones and innovative features will be key for end users to upgrade their existing smartphones.”

I’m sure we can count on Apple to have another solid fourth quarter, but it will be interesting to see what happens in the Android space.

Plus: iPhone 12 Pro Max: Apple’s best phone gets better the more you use it

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