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How Apple emerges top in global smartphone market in Q4 2020-Report

By Juliet Umeh

The demand on 5G iPhone 12 series has been adjudged to have helped the United-based Apple, dominate the global smartphone market in Q4.

This is according to the latest report by a Global technology market analyst firm, Canalys.
The firm stated that Apple shipped its highest number of iPhone units in Q4 2020 at 81.8 million units, up 4 percent against the previous year.

Analyst at the firm, Vincent Thielke, said that Apple is better positioned than its competitors on 5G, being heavily skewed towards developed markets, and mobile operator sales channels. But it also made savvy moves behind the scenes to propel its sales and profitability.

“It also implemented channel-centric growth initiatives to target SMB customers, which have bolstered demand for its entire range of iPhones,” Thielke added.

Also, another Technology Market Research, Counterpoint, said Apple shipped 81.9 million units in Q4, rising 13 percent on-year.

This is when the global smartphone market declined marginally at two percent on-year to reach 359.6 million units in Q4 led by Apple at top position.

According to Canalys, Samsung and Xiaomi took second and third place, respectively, with a market share of 17 percent and 12 percent.
Samsung shipped 62.0 million units, declining by -12 percent on-year. Xiaomi shipped 43.4 million units, growing by 31 percent on-year.
The research firm noted Chinese smartphone makers Xiaomi, Oppo, and Vivo gained shares from a beleaguered Huawei (including Honor).
Consequently, Oppo shipped 34.7 million units, growing 15 percent on-year, while Vivo shipped 32.1 million units for 14 percent annual growth.
For the first time in six-year, Huawei (including Honor) came in sixth place in Q4 2020 with 32.0 million smartphones shipped.

Canalys Research Analyst, Amber Liu said: “Huawei dramatically receded in most markets as the result of the US sanctions.

“Its decision to divest Honor, however, may prove vital, as Honor is not bound by the same restrictions and component supply is resuming.”
Liu also explained that Honor needs to address the challenge of changing demographics and cater to both the premium and mass market. Additionally, it also needs to extend product range, re-enter channels that are providing long term deals to competitors.
Canalys said for the full year of 2020, Samsung maintained the global leadership position, with a 20 percent global market share, Apple came in second place and Huawei (including Honor) remained in the top three.
In the view of another Canalys Senior Analyst, Ben Stanton, the second wave of COVID-19 has taken a huge toll, but unlike the first wave, the industry was braced for impact.

Stanton said: “Overall though, sentiment in the industry is positive, and 2021 will see the smartphone market rebound after a 7 percent decline in 2020.”

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