Apple beats Samsung, snags the top spot as the world’s best-selling smartphone vendor


It’s a chaotic time in the smartphone market. Mid-way through 2020, Huawei kicked Samsung off its podium and now Apple’s gone and done the same for the end of 2020.

Market research firm Gartner, detailing the 5% decline in world smartphone shipments in the fourth quarter of 2020, also pointed out that Samsung’s dominance has, once again, been temporarily curtailed. By the American phenomenon, Apple, obviously.

The Apple of Tim’s eye

Q4 smartphone sales figures

The last time Apple stood atop the pile was in Q4 of 2016 — four years is a long time to wait to dethrone your nemesis, we reckon. The iPhone maker is one of only two major vendors to show an increase in sales over the year, the other being Chinese brand Xiaomi.

Everyone else showed a decline, with Huawei recording the largest year-on-year loss of market share. Huawei dropped more than 40% of its share in Q4 and just over 24% for the year overall, an event laid at the feet of “…the ban on use of Google applications on Huawei’s smartphones”.

Samsung still finished the year on top of the pile, despite losing 14.6% of its growth in 2020. Second on the list was the iPhone behemoth, followed by the Chinese trio of Huawei, Xiaomi, and OPPO.


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