IDC: Smartphone shipments up by 4.3% in Q4 2020; Apple delivered 90.1mn devices


The worldwide smartphone market continued to improve in the holiday quarter of 2020 (4Q20) returning to familiar ground with 4.3% year-over-year growth. According to preliminary data from the International Data Corporation (IDC) WorldwideQuarterly Mobile Phone Tracker, smartphone vendors shipped a total of 385.9 million devices during the quarter.

While the full year 2020 declined 5.9% compared to 2019, the progress toward market recovery has been impressive and IDC believes the momentum heading into 2021 will remain strong.

Nabila Popal, research director with IDC’s Worldwide Mobile Device Trackers, said, “There are a lot of elements at play that are fueling the smartphone market recovery – pent-up demand, continued supply push on 5G, aggressive promotions, and the popularity of low to mid-priced phones.

“Vendors also seem to be better prepared for the second lockdown, ensuring they have the right channel set up ready to fulfill orders and reach the end consumer. Lockdowns also have people spending less on areas like leisure, travel, and dining out – and smartphones are benefitting from this.

“In addition to all these factors, the fast recovery and resilience of the smartphone supply chain also has to be given some credit,” Popal said.

In terms of vendors, there was a clear shift among the Top 5. Apple delivered a phenomenal performance in 4Q20, returning to the number 1 position with 90.1 million devices shipped, driven by the success of the iPhone 12 series. This represents the highest shipment volume from a vendor in a single quarter and resulted in 23.4% market share and 22.2% year-over-year growth.

Samsung moved to number 2 with 73.9 million device shipments and 19.1% market share. With the continued success of the A series and growth in nearly every region, Samsung saw year-over-year growth of 6.2%. Xiaomi finished the quarter in the third position with shipments of 43.3 million and 11.2% market share while OPPO was fourth with shipments of 33.8 million and 8.8% market share.

Both companies successfully capitalized on declining Huawei shipments, growing 32.0% and 10.7% year over year respectively, by focusing on aggressive product portfolios and building partnerships.

Huawei fell to the number 5 spot with shipments of 32.3 million and 8.4% market share. The company continues to suffer under the weight of U.S. sanctions and saw a dramatic year-over-year decline of 42.4%.

image-Ryan-Reith-Program-vice-president-IDCs-Worldwide-Mobile-Device-Trackers-mediabrief.jpgRyan Reith, program vice president with IDC’s Worldwide Mobile Device Trackers, said, “The recovery of both the smartphone market and its supply chain has been truly impressive and the year-end growth is testament to how far we’ve come.

“The majority of the world is either in some form of lockdown or still waiting to return to normal day-to-day life, yet smartphone sales are rebounding as though nothing ever happened.

“This illustrates the importance of smartphones in everyone’s life and provides a strong foundation for market demand. As the world progresses towards a post-pandemic environment, IDC believes demand will grow and the market recovery will accelerate,” Reith said.

Top 5 Smartphone Companies, Worldwide Shipments, Market Share, and Year-Over-Year Growth, Q4 2020 (shipments in millions of units)
Company 2020Q4 Shipment Volumes 2020Q4 Market Share 2019Q4 Shipment Volumes 2019Q4 Market Share Year-Over-Year Change
Apple 90.1 23.4% 73.8 19.9% 22.2%
Samsung 73.9 19.1% 69.5 18.8% 6.2%
Xiaomi 43.3 11.2% 32.8 8.9% 32.0%
OPPO 33.8 8.8% 30.6 8.3% 10.7%
Huawei 32.3 8.4% 56.2 15.2% -42.4%
Others 112.4 29.1% 107.1 28.9% 5.0%
Total 385.9 100.0% 369.9 100.0% 4.3%
Source: IDC Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker, January 27, 2021


Top 5 Smartphone Companies, Worldwide Shipments, Market Share, and Year-Over-Year Growth, Calendar Year 2020 (shipments in millions of units)
Vendor 2020 Shipment Volumes 2020 Market Share 2019 Shipment Volumes 2019 Market Share Year-Over-Year Change
Samsung 266.7 20.6% 295.8 21.6% -9.8%
Apple 206.1 15.9% 191.0 13.9% 7.9%
Huawei 189.0 14.6% 240.6 17.5% -21.5%
Xiaomi 147.8 11.4% 125.6 9.2% 17.6%
vivo 111.7 8.6% 110.1 8.0% 1.5%
Others 371.0 28.7% 409.5 29.8% -9.4%
Total 1,292.2 100.0% 1,372.6 100.0% -5.9%
Source: IDC Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker, January 27, 2021

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