iPhone sales surge despite drop in overall smartphone shipments

Despite a sales slump in the global smartphone market in 2020, iPhone units recorded a significant increase in shipments.

This is according to data from Digitimes Research, which stated that global smartphone shipments had dropped to 1.24 billion last year – an annual decline of 8.8%.

The firm said that the drop was spurred by a massive 20% decline in sales in the first quarter of 2020, followed by another double-digit decline in Q2.

These were likely due to widespread COVID-19 lockdowns, which meant that consumers would find it difficult to buy smartphones at physical retailers.

Smartphone sales then recovered slightly in the second half of the year, with a single-digit drop in Q3, and then a slight increase in Q4.

According to Digitimes Research, the top six smartphone brands in 2020 were as follows:

  • Samsung Electronics
  • Apple
  • Huawei
  • Xiaomi
  • Oppo
  • Vivo

Apple and Xiaomi have the biggest reason to celebrate, however, with both managing to push their sales up 10%.

Both Samsung and Huawei saw their shipments drop by double-digits.

In addition, 5G smartphone sales climbed to figures of between 280 to 300 million, Digitimes Research claimed.

This represented a massive gain over the estimated 20 million units sold in 2019.

Impressive iPhone 12 performance

It is likely that Apple’s impressive performance was buoyed by the sales of its latest flagship – the iPhone 12.

Only two weeks after its launch, the iPhone 12 became the world’s best-selling 5G smartphone.

This was according to data from Counterpoint Research’s Market Pulse Service, which showed that the new handset had accounted for 16% of all 5G smartphones sold in October 2020.

The higher-end iPhone 12 Pro was the second-best seller – with 8% of the market share for that month.

Combined, these two smartphones captured a quarter of the total 5G smartphone market during this period.

Now read: New iPhone SE could launch in April – Report

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iPhone sales surge despite drop in overall smartphone shipments