Though the global smartphone market contracted by 14-16 percent in Q2 2020, Apple was the only vendor to defy expectations and grow by up to 25 percent compared to the previous year. As Apple does not publicize exact shipment numbers, the estimated data varies between the two reports. Canalys places the number at 45.1 million, while IDC places it 37.6 million.
“iPhone SE will remain crucial to prop up volume this year, amid delays to Apple’s next flagship release,” commented Canalys Analyst, Vincent Thielke. “In China, it had blockbuster results, growing 35% to reach 7.7 million units. It is unusual for Apple’s Q2 shipments to increase sequentially. As well as the new iPhone SE, Apple is also demonstrating skills in new user acquisition. It adapted quickly to the pandemic, doubling down on the digital customer experience as stay-at-home measures drive more customers to online channels.”
Huawei toppled Samsung as the world-leading smartphone vendor, with 55.8 million shipments over Samsung’s 53.7 million. Xiaomi came after Apple in fourth place with 28.8 million units, followed by Oppo with 25.8 million units. Huawei was also the standout leader in the world’s largest smartphone market, China, taking 44% market share. IDC cautions that the impact of the U.S. Huawei ban will continue to create uncertainty for the company in foreign markets.
Senior Canalys Analyst Ben Stanton stated that going forwards “geopolitical uncertainty also hangs over the global smartphone market. Countries are becoming polarized between the interests of the US and China. In India, for example, Chinese companies now face a wave of negative sentiment. Smartphone vendors need to act, and many are already directing funds to brand marketing to highlight their positive impact in a local region.”
IDC expects the launch of four new potential models to allow Apple to effectively challenge Android 5G devices that have been out for more than a year. Apple no longer discloses device shipments, which means that analyst estimates cannot be confirmed by specific sales data.