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Gartner: Apple No1 smartphone vendor for first time since Q4 2016

Christian Fernsby |
Global sales of smartphones to end users declined 5.4% in the fourth quarter of 2020, according to Gartner, Inc.

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Smartphone sales declined 12.5% in full year 2020.

The launch of the 5G iPhone 12 series helped Apple record double-digit growth in the fourth quarter of 2020. Apple surpassed Samsung to retake the No. 1 global smartphone vendor spot. The last time Apple was the top smartphone vendor was in the fourth quarter for 2016.

Samsung experienced a year-on-year decline of 14.6% in 2020, but this did not prevent it from retaining its No. 1 global smartphone vendor position in full year results.

It faced tough competition from regional smartphone vendors such as Xiaomi, OPPO and Vivo as these brands grew more aggressive in global markets. In 2020, Apple and Xiaomi were the only two smartphone vendors of the top five ranking to experience growth.

Huawei recorded the highest decline among the top five smartphone vendors which made it lose the No. 2 position to Apple in 2020. The impact of the ban on use of Google applications on Huawei’s smartphones was detrimental to Huawei’s performance in the year and negatively affected sales.


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