Xiaomi is the new number three in global smartphone market

Joanna Estrada
December 1, 2020

Global smartphone sales to end users totaled 366 million units in the third quarter of 2020, down 5.7 per cent from the same period past year, a Gartner report said on Monday.

Overall, the global mobile phone sales to end users were down by 8.7 per cent year-over-year to 401 million units in Q3 2020.

Another research firm, IDC, had released its own figures at the end of October and found that the third-quarter smartphone market had declined just 1.3 percent, to 353.6 million.

Anshul Gupta, senior research director at Gartner, says that the slump in smartphone sales is due to consumers limiting discretionary spending during the pandemic. Sales were still down 5.7 percent, but that was much better than the 20 percent drops from the first and second quarters of the year. "The slight decrease was mainly due to Apple's delayed shipment start of its new 2020 iPhone generation, which in previous years would always start mid/end September".

In terms of individual vendors, per Gartner, Samsung was the top brand in the quarter with 80.8 million units shipped and a 22 percent market share.

Xiaomi was the quarter's biggest mover, jumping 34.9% to unseat Apple for the first time.

There are signs of recovery, that's true, but it's pretty clear the phone market is far from returning to the pre-2020 levels. Near normal conditions in China improved smartphone production to fill in the supply gap in the third quarter which benefited sales to some extent.

Apple's share of the global smartphone market contracted in the third quarter of 2020 as part of a wider slowdown blamed on coronavirus worries, dropping the iPhone maker into fourth place. Those figures also ranked Samsung, Huawei, Xiaomi and Apple as the top four manufacturers, but listed Vivo as the fifth-place brand, rather than Oppo. Huawei was second, with 51.8 million units-despite its ban from the US and other countries-and a 14.1 percent market share.

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