IPhone 12 shipments put Apple ahead of Samsung for the first time since 2016


Pandemic and all, Apple shipped more phones in the last quarter of 2020 than any other manufacturer. Market research firm Gartner estimates that the company shipped approximately 80 million iPhones in the previous quarter. That performance, one of Apple’s best to date, helped outperform Samsung for the first time since the fourth quarter of 2016. Samsung still finished the year with the most phone sales of any manufacturer, but saw a decline of 14.6 percent after a quarter in which shipments fell 11.8 percent year-on-year. Compare that to Apple, which saw its shipments increase by 14.9 percent in the fourth quarter of 2020 and sales grew 3.3 percent annually.

Gartner suggests that the launch of the iPhone 12 helped Apple significantly, but probably equally vital to its success were all the expensive rags that Samsung rolled out in 2020. The company did itself no favors with the Galaxy S20 and Note 20, both of which it is safe to say were overpriced when they first came out. With the most affordable Galaxy S21 to offer consumers, Samsung is in a much better position for 2021.

Despite all of Samsung’s troubles in the fourth quarter of 2020 and the rest of the year, it didn’t fare as badly as Huawei. The sanctions imposed by the Trump administration affected the company. It saw its shipments drop a steep 41.1 percent during the quarter and sales fell 24.1 percent for the year.

Going back to Apple for a moment, it’s not just about the iPhone working for the business. Thanks to the pandemic and associated requests to stay at home, the Mac is also on a roll. According to a recent Canalys report, Apple’s shipment volume grew 45 percent in 2020 and 16.6 percent year-on-year in the fourth quarter of 2020.

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