2020 ended with three solid months for Apple – the company shipped the most iPhones in a single quarter, particularly 81.8 million units, according to data from Canalys.
This pushed Apple to the top spot in terms of market share. Samsung failed to defend its position, as shipments fell 12% year over year (year-over-year) to 62 million units. But the Apple / Samsung fight was not the highlight of the quarter.
Huawei emerged from the Top 5 smartphones for the first time in six years. Chinese competitors were quick to gobble up its market share, with Xiaomi increasing by 31%, to 43.4 million units shipped.
Huawei’s figures include Honor shipments, both of which suffered from US sanctions. Honor was split near the end of 2020, so analysts will be keeping an eye on its performance now that it has regained access to component vendors.
This independence, however, comes with obstacles. First, Honor needs to grow to fill niches previously reserved for the parent company (Honor was more youth-oriented, Huawei was in the premium position). Second, it must sign its own agreements with carriers and retailers.
The pandemic caused a slight drop of 2% in total smartphone shipments for the last quarter of this year (359.6 million). However, the manufacturers had a game plan and beefed up online sales channels, so they held up better than they did at the start of the pandemic.
Interestingly, analysts note that Apple’s decision to remove the charger from the retail packaging gave it an edge – smaller, lighter boxes are easier to ship, which is vital at one point. where the shipping cost is higher than normal.
Looking at 2020 as a whole, Samsung was the biggest player with 20% market share, followed by Apple and Huawei (which had a lot of inertia at the start). The outlook for 2021 is positive, especially now that vaccination efforts have begun.
As for Honor, analysts expect it will be an uphill battle to reclaim the lost market share.
|Seller||2020 shipments (millions)||Market share 2020||2019 shipments (millions)||2019 market share||Annual growth|
|Huawei (including Honor)||188.5||15.00%||240.6||18.00%||-22.00%|
|Note: percentages may not add up to 100% due to rounding Source: Canalys estimates (sales deliveries), Smartphone Analysis, January 2021|