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Sunday, February 28, 2021

Apple is back on the throne. iPhone is the highest selling smartphone

 When Apple announced that, as expected, its iPhone 12 lineup would support the next-generation 5G wireless data standard, analysts expected the company would experience what’s called an “upgrade supercycle,” in which pent-up demand for the smartphone would be unleashed, giving it a huge sales boost.

iPhone 12 Pro Max- Photo by Apple

Those expectations appear to have been met. Gartner reports that Apple’s iPhone sales surged in the final quarter of 2020, making it the best-selling smartphone in the world. Apple has not held that position since the fourth quarter of 2016, as the No. 1 spot globally has typically been claimed by Samsung.

Gartner estimates that Apple sold nearly 80 million iPhones in the fourth quarter, claiming almost 21% of market share. No. 2 Samsung sold more than 62 million phones, giving it just over 16% share for the quarter.

Samsung’s growth quarter-over-quarter declined by almost 12%, while Apple grew almost 15%.

The situation was similar for U.S. sales, where Apple has long held a lead over Samsung. Gartner estimates Apple sold more than 28 million iPhones in the fourth quarter for a whopping 90% quarter-over-quarter growth. That’s compared to Samsung’s more than 7 million, which was a 25% quarter-over-quarter decline.

Apple’s surge comes despite a delayed launch date in late October for the iPhone 12 line due to the coronavirus pandemic. Samsung’s new Galaxy S21 lineup launched in mid-January.

Gartner also notes that Samsung suffered a year-over-year decline in 2020, but it held onto the No. 1 position globally for the entire year. Samsung sold more than 235 million phones in 2020, compared to Apple’s sales of almost 200 million.

Apple reported record sales of $111.4 billion during the fourth quarter of last year, the first time revenue passed the $100 billion mark, $65.6 billion of that was from iPhone sales.

Apple’s success was not matched by the rest of the industry. Gartner says overall global sales of smartphones dropped by 5.4% in the fourth quarter, and were down by 12.5% for the full year. Apple was late to the 5G game, as most competitors already had devices that could work on the newer networks when the iPhone 12 was launched.

Credit: Forbes.com

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