Strong sales of the iPhone 12 models lifted Apple to the top of the global smartphone market in the fourth quarter, a study on Monday showed.
Gartner’s market tracking report showed Apple sold about 79.9 million iPhone models in the last three months of the year – a 15 percent jump from a year earlier – to high-speed Samsung in sales of the global smartphone market, which shrank by about 5.4%.
The California giant captured 20.8% of the market to take first place for the first time since the fourth quarter of 2016, according to Gartner.
Samsung dropped 11.8% in sales to 62.1 million units during the period, giving the South Korean company 16.2% of the global market.
The overall market has been hurt by the attention of consumers worldwide, with declines being limited by the introduction of new 5G phones, Gartner analysts say.
“Sales of more 5G and low- to mid-range smartphones minimize market decline in the fourth quarter of 2020,” said Anshul Gupta, senior research director at Gartner.
“While consumers remain cautious about spending and withholding some discretionary purchases, 5G smartphones and pro-camera features encourage some end users to buy new smartphones or upgrade their current smartphones during the quarter.”
Huawei, according to the study, the Chinese company, imposed by sanctions restricting its access to US technology, fell to fifth place by 8.9%.
For the whole year, the market has suffered a huge decline of 12.5%, as sales fell to 1.3 billion units, the study shows. Samsung remained the best-selling for the year with an 18.8% share, ahead of Apple’s 14.8%.
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