Global smartphone market in 2020: How Apple, Samsung, Xiaomi and others ‘performed’


Global sales of smartphones declined 12.5% during the year 2020, according to research firm Gartner. While consumers remained cautious in their spending, 5G smartphones and pro-camera features helped drive sales of new smartphones. After full four years, Apple once again emerged as the top smartphone vendor globally in terms of sales. Here’s how all top five smartphone companies performed during the year 2020

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Apple sold most smartphones globally in the fourth quarter of 2020

Apple emerged as the top smartphone vendor in the last quarter (Q4) of the year 2020. The company sold highest number of smartphones in the world.

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iPhone 12 series helped Apple beat Samsung

According to Gartner, the launch of the 5G iPhone 12 series helped Apple record double-digit growth in the fourth quarter of 2020. The sales of the iPhone 12 series played a critical role in Apple beating Samsung for the No. 1 global smartphone vendor spot.

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Apple regained the top spot after 4 years

Apple became the world’s largest smartphone company after four years. The last time Apple emerged as the top smartphone vendor was in the fourth quarter of 2016.

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Samsung, however, retained the top spot for the full year (2020)

Samsung experienced a year-on-year decline of 14.6% in 2020, but this did not prevent it from retaining its No. 1 global smartphone vendor position in full year results.

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Xiaomi, Oppo and Vivo expanded aggressively in global markets

Samsung faced competition from Chinese smartphone vendors such as Xiaomi, Oppo and Vivo as these brands grew more aggressive in global markets, outside China and India.

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Apple and Xiaomi grew fastest during the year 2020

In 2020, Apple and Xiaomi were the only two smartphone vendors in the top five ranking to experience growth.

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Huawei saw the biggest decline

Huawei recorded the highest decline among the top five smartphone vendors which made it lose the No. 2 position to Apple in 2020. The impact of the ban on use of Google applications on Huawei’s smartphones hurt the company’s performance during the year.

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World’s five-biggest smartphone companies

The world’s five-biggest smartphone companies as per Gartner are: Apple, Samsung, Xiaomi, Oppo and Huawei; in the same order.

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Globally smartphone market shrunk in 2020

Global sales of smartphones to end users declined 5.4% in the fourth quarter of 2020, according to Gartner. Smartphone sales declined 12.5% in full year 2020.



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