Apple once again the world’s largest smartphone maker since 2016, overtaking Samsung

Apple once again became the world’s largest smartphone maker, thanks to the iPhone 12 featuring 5G connectivity, according to research firm Gartner .

According to Gartner, Apple sold almost 80 Million iPhone units at the end of 2020 after the launch of the iPhone 12 lineup. The Cupertino company also overtook Samsung to become the world’s largest smartphone maker in that process. The last time Apple won the crown of top-selling smartphone maker was in 2016.

The primary reason for the sales boost, according to Annette Zimmerman, lead analyst for Apple at Gartner, is the “upgrade super-cycle” triggered by millions of consumers waiting to get their hands on the new 5G-enabled iPhone 12 lineup.

According to her, the sales will continue to increase in the first quarter of 2021 as a result of a recovering market and festivities such as the Chinese New Year.

The overall smartphone sales, however, declined by 12 percent to 1.35 Billion throughout 2020 but only fell 5 percent in the final quarter. Much of that was offset by iPhone sales. The reason for this slump in overall smartphone sales is the decline in consumer confidence induced by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Apple is said to have dominated the premium end of the market and that is rightly so. The iPhone 12 mini has been the least popular model in the iPhone 12 lineup, sales-wise.

Samsung, on the other hand, recorded a 12 percent decline in the fourth quarter, and 15 percent over the course of 2020.

Huawei suffered a sharp slide in smartphone sales—down 41 percent—due to sanctions imposed on the company by the US government. It has dropped to fifth place below mid-market competitors Xiaomi and Oppo. Specifically, the ban on distributing Google apps and services to Huawei smartphones is the reason for a hit on its sales.

Apple launched the iPhone 12 lineup featuring the iPhone 12 mini, iPhone 12, iPhone 12 Pro, and the iPhone 12 Pro Max. These bring a refreshed design, better cameras, 5G support, and more.

Apple also recently broke the $100 Billion quarterly sales barrier.

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