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Apple Leads Global Smartphone Shipments in Q4 2020 Due to High iPhone 12 Series Demand: Counterpoint

Counterpoint says that Realme became the fastest growing brand globally, with 65 percent year-on-year (YoY) growth in shipment volume.

Apple Leads Global Smartphone Shipments in Q4 2020 Due to High iPhone 12 Series Demand: Counterpoint

Apple’s growth is attributed to the pent-up demand for the iPhone 12 models and iPhone 11’s longevity

Highlights
  • Samsung shipments declined in Q4 due to Chinese OEMs’ competition
  • Xiaomi’s global smartphone shipments grew 31 percent YoY
  • The total shipments in the last quarter crossed 395 million

Apple captured the top spot in the global smartphone market in Q4 2020 as the world continued to recover from the COVID-19 impact, according to Counterpoint. The total shipments in the last quarter crossed 395 million, out of which Apple was responsible for 81.9 million shipments. Apple's growth is attributed to the pent-up demand for the iPhone 12 models, strong carrier promotions in the US, and iPhone 11's longevity. Counterpoint says that Realme became the fastest growing brand globally, growing 65 percent year-on-year (YoY) in shipment volume.

In Q4 2020, Apple shipped 81.9 million smartphones, grabbing 21 percent of the market share and seeing a quarter-on-quarter (QoQ) growth of 96 percent, according to Counterpoint's latest report. Samsung came in second with 62.5 million units shipped in Q4, gaining 16 percent market share. It saw a QoQ decline of 22 percent due to intensifying competition in the mid-range segment from the Chinese OEMs and in the premium segment from the iPhone 12 series.

Xiaomi's global smartphone shipments grew 31 percent YoY to 43 million units in Q4 2020. In China, Xiaomi's shipments increased 46 percent YoY to 12 million units due to the Singles' Day sales season and Honor's weakening performance, Counterpoint claims. Oppo grew eight percent YoY and 10 percent QoQ to achieve nine percent market share, with 34 million units shipped in Q4 2020. Counterpoint noted that this was also the first time Oppo and Vivo surpassed Huawei to capture the fourth and fifth spots, respectively. The report says that the global smartphone market declined one percent YoY in Q4 2020, but the market rose eight percent QoQ in Q4 2020, recovering from the global impact of COVID-19.

In the calendar year 2020, Samsung regained the top spot in global smartphone sales with 255.7 million units, grabbing a market share of 19 percent. Apple takes the second spot with a total of 201.1 million shipments in 2020 and a market share of 15 percent. Despite the sanctions and severe component shortages after the escalated US trade ban, Huawei managed to achieve the third spot thanks to its strong performance in China that contributed to around 70 percent of its total shipments. Huawei's performance, Counterpoint says, was driven by new 5G models such as Huawei Mate 40 Pro and Huawei Nova 7.

Realme, a relatively new brand in the smartphone segment, shipped 42.4 million units in 2020, compared to 25.7 million units in 2019. It grabbed a modest three percent market but its annual growth rate was the fastest at 65 percent, Counterpoint claims. Even in the Indian market, Realme grew the fastest at 22 percent and crossed the 20 million-unit mark for the first time


Will iPhone 12 mini become the affordable iPhone we've been waiting for? We discussed this on Orbital, our weekly technology podcast, which you can subscribe to via Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, or RSS, download the episode, or just hit the play button below.

  • Design
  • Display
  • Software
  • Performance
  • Battery Life
  • Camera
  • Value for Money
  • Good
  • Very good build quality
  • Dolby Vision HDR video recording
  • Excellent cameras
  • Smooth performance in everyday use
  • Bad
  • Battery life could be better
  • Gets warm when stressed
Display 6.10-inch
Front Camera 12-megapixel
Rear Camera 12-megapixel + 12-megapixel
Storage 64GB
OS iOS 14
Resolution 1170x2532 pixels
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Further reading: Apple, Samsung, Xiaomi, Realme, Vivo, Oppo, Counterpoint
Tasneem Akolawala is a Senior Reporter for Gadgets 360. Her reporting expertise encompasses smartphones, wearables, apps, social media, and the overall tech industry. She reports out of Mumbai, and also writes about the ups and downs in the Indian telecom sector. Tasneem can be reached on Twitter at @MuteRiot, and leads, tips, and releases can be sent to tasneema@ndtv.com. More
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