The launch of the 5G iPhone 12 sequence propelled Apple to the primary place within the fourth quarter, Gartner stated in a press release on Monday. The final time Apple was the highest smartphone vendor was within the fourth quarter of 2016, in response to Gartner’s knowledge, which tracks gross sales to customers.
Apple(AAPL), which launched its 5G lineup in mid October, offered practically 80 million smartphones within the ultimate three months of 2020, a 15% improve on the identical interval the earlier yr.
The corporate additionally shipped its most iPhones ever to distributors in a single quarter, at 81.8 million, in response to analysis revealed by Singapore-based Canalys late final month. By that measure, Apple has outperformed Samsung on fourth-quarter gross sales since 2017.
The ultimate three months of the yr are sometimes Apple’s strongest as a result of it sometimes unveils new iPhones in September. That was delayed final yr till October on account of provide chain disruptions attributable to the coronavirus pandemic. Samsung often updates its flagship Galaxy S telephones in February, contributing to a a lot stronger first quarter efficiency. This yr, the corporate introduced new fashions a month early.
Apple’s double-digit gross sales development was achieved regardless of a shrinking market. International gross sales of smartphones slipped 5.4% within the fourth quarter, in response to Gartner, amid rising unemployment and weaker shopper spending due to the pandemic. Smartphone gross sales declined 12.5% in 2020 in comparison with the earlier yr.
“Whilst customers remained cautious of their spending and held off on some discretionary purchases, 5G smartphones and pro-camera options inspired some finish customers to buy new smartphones or improve their present smartphones within the quarter,” stated Anshul Gupta, senior analysis director at Gartner.
“The iPhone 12 is a success,” added Canalys analyst Vincent Thielke in final month’s report. “Apple is best positioned than its rivals on 5G, being closely skewed in the direction of developed markets, and cellular operator gross sales channels.”
Samsung nonetheless on high for the yr
Samsung(SSNLF) offered 62 million smartphones within the fourth quarter. The corporate retained its place as the largest world smartphone maker for the complete yr regardless of a 15% decline in gross sales and competitors from Chinese language rivals corresponding to Xiaomi, OPPO and Vivo, Gartner stated.
Huawei, which eclipsed Samsung within the second quarter of 2020, went on to undergo the biggest decline among the many high 5 smartphone distributors, inflicting it to lose its quantity two place to Apple for the complete yr. The model ranked fourth globally within the ultimate three months of the yr, Gartner stated.
US authorities sanctions, which blocked it from utilizing some well-liked Google purposes and companies on its smartphones, harm gross sales, Gartner stated. The corporate introduced thatit was promoting itsfunds smartphone enterprise, Honor, in November, which might dent smartphone gross sales additional going ahead.
Gartner sees world smartphone gross sales recovering this yr. “The rising demand for reasonably priced 5G smartphones outdoors China will enhance smartphone gross sales in 2021,” stated Gupta.