Apple Takes Top Spot in Global Smartphones Market With Record 82 Million iPhone Shipments in Q4 2020

Apple has taken the spot in the global smartphone market thanks to record iPhone shipments, while Samsung and Huawei have lost significant ground, according to the latest market research firm data.

iPhone 12 Layout
Canalys research found that Apple shipped more iPhones than ever in the fourth quarter of 2020, at 81.8 million units. Samsung meanwhile took second place shipping 62 million units – a 12% decline compared to a year earlier. Of the rest in the top five, Xiaomi, Oppo, and Vivo all gained share at Huawei's expense.

"The iPhone 12 is a hit," said Canalys Analyst Vincent Thielke. "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. The omission of a power plug from the iPhone retail box, which reduces weight and size, is making logistics significantly more efficient, amid the ongoing high cost of air freight due to the pandemic."

Worldwide smartphone shipments reached 359.6 million units in the fourth quarter amid the second wave of the global health crisis, down slightly by 2% year-on-year, according to Canalys.

canalys q4 2020 global smartphone market
Looking at 2020 overall, Samsung remained in the top spot with 20% market share, but its growth declined annually by -14%. Apple came in second with 14%, with 5% growth. Huawei (including Honor), which has been hit with U.S. sanctions in several markets, took the third spot with 18% and a negative growth of -22%.

Apple's fortunes continued into this year, with the company yesterday announcing that the first fiscal quarter of 2021 was the best quarter in its history in terms of revenue and profit, topping the first fiscal quarter of 2020 and easily breaking through the $100 billion mark in revenue.

Tag: Canalys

Top Rated Comments

yellow8 Avatar
18 months ago
When you are at the top, you can only go down. Except for Apple, they always find a new summit.
Score: 14 Votes (Like | Disagree)
bobob Avatar
18 months ago
This has gotta be bad news for Apple - - they're doomed for sure this time!
Score: 9 Votes (Like | Disagree)
dwaltwhit Avatar
18 months ago
Perhaps. Just perhaps. People are starting to realize that although the iPhone is more expensive on the front end, it can last years longer than most other handsets AND will be supported for many more years than Android.
Score: 9 Votes (Like | Disagree)
bobmans Avatar
18 months ago
23% market share and probably 80%+ of the profits. There's not a single low-margin phone in that 23%.
Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)
jonnysods Avatar
18 months ago
It was bound to happen, they sure do have momentum!
Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Shalev Avatar
18 months ago
nothing like apple in this world
Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Related Stories

iPhone SE 3 stacked

5G iPhone SE Shipments Expected to Reach Up to 30 Million Units This Year

Thursday March 17, 2022 3:57 am PDT by
Apple's new third-generation iPhone SE with 5G connectivity is set to go on general sale on Friday, and Taiwan-based analysts have today shared their shipment expectations for the device over the coming year. Apple's new iPhone SE shipments are expected to reach 30 million units in 2022, according to estimates by DigiTimes research analysts Sean Lin and Luke Lin. That's at the top-end of the ...
ipad mac side by side

Apple Reports All-Time Quarterly Revenue Record for Macs With 'Strong Demand' for M1 MacBook Air

Thursday October 28, 2021 1:47 pm PDT by
Apple today reported Mac revenue of $9.17 billion in the fourth quarter of its 2021 fiscal year, which is an all-time quarterly revenue record for Macs. Apple CEO Tim Cook said there was "strong demand" for the M1 MacBook Air in particular. No new Macs were released during the quarter, with the new 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pro models not being released until after the quarter ended, but...
macbook air m1 unboxing feature

MacBook Air Drives 6.5 Million Apple Laptop Shipments in Q3 2021

Wednesday November 3, 2021 4:04 am PDT by
Apple shipped 6.5 million laptops in the third quarter of this year, thanks in large part to high demand for the M1-powered MacBook Air. That's according to research firm Strategy Analytics, whose data put Apple as the fourth largest seller of laptops between July and September, earning it 10% of the global market share and 10% growth year-on-year. Lenovo took first place in the top five ...
oppo find x5

Oppo Plans to Challenge Apple Globally, Starting With 'Find X5' Premium Smartphone

Thursday February 24, 2022 4:57 am PST by
After Xiaomi pledged to aggressively challenge Apple earlier this month, Chinese smartphone brand Oppo is also now planning to directly compete with Apple on a global scale with a wave of premium devices, starting with the newly announced Find X5 (via South China Morning Post). Oppo is currently the world's fourth-biggest smartphone vendor, but following its merger with OnePlus, the company...
Global Top 6 Smartwatch OEMs Q3 2021

Samsung Narrowing Gap With Apple Watch as Apple's Shipments Fall

Monday November 22, 2021 7:33 am PST by
While Apple maintained its dominant share of smartwatch shipments in the third quarter of 2021, the company's shipments fell as Samsung made significant gains, according to Counterpoint Research. Global smartwatch shipments in the third quarter of this year increased by 16 percent overall compared to the same time in 2020, but Apple Watch shipments declined by 10 percent. The drop may be...
iPhone 13 Feature Candy Corn

iPhone Was the Most Popular Smartphone in Q4 2021

Tuesday January 18, 2022 5:50 am PST by
iPhones accounted for around one-fifth of all smartphone shipments in the fourth quarter of 2021, allowing Apple to reclaim first place as the biggest smartphone vendor, according to a report from Canalys. Canalys estimates that the iPhone accounted for 22 percent of worldwide smartphone shipments in the fourth quarter of 2021. The scale of Apple's shipments is thanks to strong demand for...
Apple new macbookpro wallpaper screen 11102020

Mac Shipments Continue to Rise Amid Surge in Demand for PCs [Updated]

Monday July 12, 2021 8:43 am PDT by
Shipments of Macs increased by almost 10 percent in the second quarter of 2021 compared to the same time last year, as the surge in demand for computers continued, according to IDC data. The IDC Worldwide Quarterly Personal Computing Device Tracker shows that worldwide shipments of personal computers, including desktops, notebooks, and workstations, reached 83.6 million units in the second...
apple lineup except the ipad is sad

Apple Reports All-Time Quarterly Revenue Records for iPhone, Mac, Wearables, and Services

Thursday January 27, 2022 1:50 pm PST by
Apple today reported its earnings results for the fourth quarter of 2021, which corresponds with the first quarter of the 2022 fiscal year. Overall, Apple reported revenue of $123.9 billion, which is an all-time quarterly record for the company. On a category-by-category basis, Apple also set all-time quarterly revenue records for the iPhone, Mac, Wearables, and Services:iPhone: $71.6...

Popular Stories

home app ios 16

Apple Confirms iPad Will No Longer Be Supported as a Home Hub in iOS 16

Wednesday June 22, 2022 12:38 pm PDT by
The iPad will no longer be able to be used as a home hub following the launch of iOS 16, iPadOS 16, macOS Ventura, and the HomePod 16 software this fall, Apple confirmed today. As discovered in iOS 16 code by MacRumors contributor Steve Moser, Apple says that the iPad will no longer be supported as a home hub. This information will be displayed in the Home app after updating to iOS 16.A home ...
apple ar headset concept 2

Apple CEO Tim Cook Hints at AR/VR Headset: 'Stay Tuned and You'll See What We Have to Offer'

Wednesday June 22, 2022 6:34 pm PDT by
CEO Tim Cook this week did an interview with China Daily, where he once again commented on on the future of augmented reality and hinted at Apple's work on an AR/VR headset. Render via designer Ian Zelbo Cook said that Apple is excited about the opportunities available with augmented reality, which is not too far off from prior comments that he's made, but he went on to say that people should ...
customize wallpaper setting ios 16

iOS 16 Beta 2 Tidbits: New Wallpaper Colors, Backup Over LTE, SMS Filtering and More

Wednesday June 22, 2022 2:16 pm PDT by
Apple today seeded the second betas of iOS 16 and iPadOS 16 to developers for testing purposes, and the new betas introduce new features and refine some of the changes that Apple made with the first iOS 16 release. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. Lock Screen Photo Wallpaper Customization When customizing a photo on the Lock Screen, there are two new DuoTone and...
Shazam Music Recognition Control Center

iPhone's Built-In Music Recognition Feature Syncs With Shazam App on iOS 16

Tuesday June 21, 2022 7:37 am PDT by
Since the release of iOS 14.2 in 2020, the iPhone has included a built-in Music Recognition feature in Control Center powered by Shazam. And with iOS 16, and also the iOS 15.6 beta, the feature has received a small but useful upgrade. As noted by Twitter user @someone_andrew, songs identified with Music Recognition in Control Center finally sync with the Shazam app. It also remains...
2022 back to school apple

Apple Launches 2022 Back to School Offer: Up to $150 Gift Card With Mac or iPad

Friday June 24, 2022 5:08 am PDT by
Apple today launched its annual "Back to School" promotion for college/university students in the United States and Canada. This year's promotion offers a free Apple gift card with the purchase of an eligible Mac or iPad, rather than free AirPods like last year. Apple is also offering students 20% off AppleCare+ plans during the promotion. Apple is offering a $150 gift card with the purchase ...
ios 16 lock screen feature2

Apple Seeds Second Betas of iOS 16 and iPadOS 16 to Developers

Wednesday June 22, 2022 10:07 am PDT by
Apple today seeded the second betas of upcoming iOS 16 and iPadOS 16 updates to developers for testing purposes, with the updates coming two weeks after Apple unveiled the new software at WWDC and released the initial betas. Registered developers can download the iOS and iPadOS 16 profiles from the Apple Developer Center, and once installed, the betas will be available over the air. Given...
apple ar headset concept 1

Apple Rumored to Announce 'Game-Changer' AR/VR Headset in January 2023

Friday June 24, 2022 2:52 am PDT by
Apple is "likely" to announce its long-rumored mixed-reality headset as soon as January 2023, Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo has reiterated. Concept render based on purported leaked information by Ian Zelbo In a detailed post on Medium, Kuo explained that Apple's headset will be a "game-changer" for the augmented-reality and virtual-reality market. Describing some of the headset's...