iPhone 12 demand surges as Apple takes global smartphone top spot

iPhone 12 demand surges as Apple takes global smartphone top spot

In Q4 2020, Apple shipped its most iPhones ever in a single quarter, at 81.8 million units, up 4% against the previous year, said a report by Canalys.

Samsung took second place, shipping 62.0 million units for a -12% decline. Xiaomi, Oppo, and Vivo completed the top five, with each seeing share gains from a beleaguered Huawei (including Honor). Xiaomi grew 31% to 43.4 million units, Oppo grew 15% to 34.7 million units, while Vivo shipped 32.1 million units for 14% growth.

Huawei (including Honor) came in sixth place in Q4 2020 with 32.0 million smartphones shipped. It marks the first time in six years that it fell outside the global top five smartphone vendors.

"In Q4 2020, worldwide smartphone shipments reached 359.6 million units, a small decline of 2% year-on-year," the analysis said.

Meanwhile, for the full year of 2020, Samsung maintained the global leadership position, with a 20% global market share, Apple came in second place and Huawei (including Honor) remained in the top three.

“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."

“Huawei dramatically receded in most markets as the result of the US sanctions,” said Canalys Research Analyst Amber Liu. “Its decision to divest Honor, however, may prove vital, as Honor is not bound by the same restrictions and component supply is resuming. Despite this, Honor has a colossal challenge ahead."

According to Canalys Senior Analyst Ben Stanton, the second wave of COVID-19 has taken a huge toll, but unlike the first wave, the industry was braced for impact.

"Going forwards, there will be obvious economic ripple effects as government stimulus fades, and there are ongoing concerns around new virus strains. Overall though, sentiment in the industry is positive, and 2021 will see the smartphone market rebound after a 7% decline in 2020,” he added.

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