Apple was the top smartphone vendor, shipping 90.1 million devices in Q4
While the global smartphone market took a hit overall in 2020 — declining 5.9% compared to 2019 — the final quarter of last year showed significant improvement, with the market returning somewhat to its former glory at 4.3% year-over-year growth, according to data from the International Data Corporation (IDC) Worldwide Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker. And analysts are confident that momentum will remain strong in 2021.
Nabila Popal, research director with IDC’s Worldwide Mobile Device Trackers, said elements like “pent-up demand, continued supply push on 5G, aggressive promotions, and the popularity of low to mid-priced phones” are all contributing to the market rebound.
“Vendors also seem to be better prepared for the second lockdown, ensuring they have the right channel set up ready to fulfill orders and reach the end consumer,” Popal added. “Lockdowns also have people spending less on areas like leisure, travel, and dining out — and smartphones are benefitting from this. In addition to all these factors, the fast recovery and resilience of the smartphone supply chain also has to be given some credit.”
The IDC tracker reported that smartphone vendors shipped a total of 385.9 million devices during Q4, with Apple coming out on top and delivering an impressive Q4. The iPhone maker reclaimed its number one position after shipping 90.1 million devices in the quarter, driven by the iPhone 12 series. According to IDC, this is the highest shipment volume from a vendor in a single quarter and resulted in 23.4% market share and 22.2% year-over-year growth.
Samsung shipped 73.9 million device shipments and 19.1% market share, coming in comfortably at number two, while Xiaomi finished the quarter in the third position with shipments of 43.3 million and 11.2% market share. Xiaomi, as well as OPPO, who came in fourth, are thought to have capitalized on declining Huawei shipments. Huawei claimed the number five spot with shipments of 32.3 million and 8.4% market share.
“The majority of the world is either in some form of lockdown or still waiting to return to normal day-to-day life, yet smartphone sales are rebounding as though nothing ever happened,” commented Ryan Reith, program vice president with IDC’s Worldwide Mobile Device Trackers. “This illustrates the importance of smartphones in everyone’s life and provides a strong foundation for market demand. As the world progresses towards a post-pandemic environment, IDC believes demand will grow and the market recovery will accelerate.”
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