Apple Takes Top Spot in Global Smartphones Market With Record 82 Million iPhone Shipments in Q4 2020

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Apple has taken the spot in the global smartphone market thanks to record iPhone shipments, while Samsung and Huawei have lost significant ground, according to the latest market research firm data.

iPhone 12 Layout


Canalys research found that Apple shipped more iPhones than ever in the fourth quarter of 2020, at 81.8 million units. Samsung meanwhile took second place shipping 62 million units – a 12% decline compared to a year earlier. Of the rest in the top five, Xiaomi, Oppo, and Vivo all gained share at Huawei’s expense.

“The iPhone 12 is a hit,” said Canalys Analyst Vincent Thielke. “Apple is better positioned than its competitors on 5G, being heavily skewed towards developed markets, and mobile operator sales channels. But it also made savvy moves behind the scenes to propel its sales and profitability. The omission of a power plug from the ‌iPhone‌ retail box, which reduces weight and size, is making logistics significantly more efficient, amid the ongoing high cost of air freight due to the pandemic.”

Worldwide smartphone shipments reached 359.6 million units in the fourth quarter amid the second wave of the global health crisis, down slightly by 2% year-on-year, according to Canalys.

canalys q4 2020 global smartphone market


Looking at 2020 overall, Samsung remained in the top spot with 20% market share, but its growth declined annually by -14%. Apple came in second with 14%, with 5% growth. Huawei (including Honor), which has been hit with U.S. sanctions in several markets, took the third spot with 18% and a negative growth of -22%.

Apple’s fortunes continued into this year, with the company yesterday announcing that the first fiscal quarter of 2021 was the best quarter in its history in terms of revenue and profit, topping the first fiscal quarter of 2020 and easily breaking through the $100 billion mark in revenue.

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