iPhone 12 series helped Apple dethrone Samsung in Q4 2020

iPhone 12 series helped Apple dethrone Samsung in Q4 2020
Apple nudged aside Samsung to become the world's largest smartphone seller in the fourth quarter of 2020, according to data from research company Gartner

The last time the iPhone maker was the leading smartphone manufacturer was in the fourth quarter of 2016. 

Sales reached nearly 80 million units, up 14.9 percent from the same period last year. This earned the company a market share of 20.8 percent. The record double-digit growth during Q4 2020 is another sign that the 5G iPhone 12 series is doing well. Gartner's Annette Zimmerman expects the momentum to continue into the first quarter of 2021, according to Financial Times.

Samsung shipped around 62 million handsets during Q4 2020, a decline of 11.8 percent when compared to the year-ago quarter. This took its yearly tally to 253 million units, down 14.6 percent when compared to 2019. Still, it managed to hold on to its title of the world's largest smartphone vendor. 

Apple surpassed Huawei as the world's second-largest handset maker during 2020. The Cupertino giant sold nearly 200 million units during 2020, an increase of 3.3 percent when compared to the last year. 

With sales of over 182 million units, Huawei was the third-largest seller during 2020. The beleaguered Chinese company witnessed a decline of 24.1 percent during the year. In Q4 2020, it dropped to the fifth position, behind Xiaomi and Oppo. This is the first time since 2013 that it is not among the top four smartphone makers in a given quarter.

Xiaomi saw the most growth during the year. Sales grew 15.7 percent to nearly 146 million units during 2020. During the fourth quarter of the year, it was the third-largest vendor.

Overall smartphone sales declined 12.5 percent in 2020 and 5.4 percent in the fourth quarter. 

Gartner believes that 5G handsets and lower-to-mid-tier phones minimized the decline in the fourth quarter. The firm says lower-end 5G handsets and innovative features will drive upgrades in 2021.

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