Apple drops to fourth in worldwide smartphone marketshare, report says

Posted:
in iPhone edited October 2020
Newly released estimates from research firm IDC put Apple in fourth place among the world's top smartphone vendors after the tech giant reported a year-over-year decline in iPhone revenue on Thursday.

iPhone 11


According to data gleaned from IDC's Worldwide Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker, Apple shipped an estimated 41.6 million iPhones in the third calendar quarter of 2020. That figure is down 10.6% year-over-year and gave the company an 11.8% share of the market, dropping it from third to fourth place.

"This drop was expected and is mainly due to the delay in the launch of the new iPhone 12 series, which is usually in the third quarter," the report said. "Regardless, the iPhone 11 series did exceptionally well, contributing the majority of Apple's volume, followed by the SE device."

Samsung regained its crown as the world's top smartphone manufacturer with 80.4 million units shipped and a 22.7% share of the market. Huawei came in second with 51.9 million smartphones shipped and a 14.7% marketshare, down 22% year-over-year.

Xiaomi replaced Apple in third with 46.5 million shipments, up a massive 42% on the year.

Vivo rounded out the top five, shipping 31.5 million handsets to take an 8.9% share of the market.




Overall, phone makers shipped an estimated 353.6 million smartphones in the third quarter, down 1.3% from the same time last year. The result is better than IDC's original forecast, which predicted a 9% market contraction due to the coronavirus pandemic.

It should be noted that firms like IDC do not have insight into Apple's supply or retail chains and provide estimates based on independent research. The methodology, and more importantly results, of market research firms have been brought into question in the past, with Apple executives dismissing the data as largely incorrect.

Apple reported earnings for its fourth fiscal quarter on Thursday, noting a 21% decline in iPhone revenue. Part of the shortfall was blamed on a late start to iPhone 12 sales.

Despite a dip in iPhone income, Apple posted record-breaking earnings of $64.7 billion on stronger than expected Mac and Services revenue. Aside from iPhone, all of the company's hardware segments grew during the three-month period, fueled by work from home and remote learning trends.

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 20
    How can IDC says Market share on smartphone ships? Are all been sold ?? Or just in the store? They should track ownership not ships.....
    cornchipmartinp13
  • Reply 2 of 20
    But but but big bad apple is too dominant /s 
    Rayz2016
  • Reply 3 of 20
    Kuyangkoh said:
    How can IDC says Market share on smartphone ships? Are all been sold ?? Or just in the store? They should track ownership not ships.....
    Ship and sold mean the exact same thing.  Apple used to use the word "sold" to mean when the phones shipped to their customer (Telecoms and retailers like Best Buy, Target, Walmart, etc.)  It has been a part of the disclosure in their filings for as long as I can remember.  The portion of their sales that count they way you're thinking is the product that is sold via Apple stores (physical and online) and some education sales.  And no, all phones are not sold.  Apple and the other OEM's do periodic channel inventory corrections to adjust for unsold items.
    edited October 2020 muthuk_vanalingamchemengin1NotoriousDEV
  • Reply 4 of 20
    Rayz2016Rayz2016 Posts: 6,957member
    Kuyangkoh said:
    How can IDC says Market share on smartphone ships? Are all been sold ?? Or just in the store? They should track ownership not ships.....
    As report highlights, IDC doesn’t actually have much sales information to go on. A lot of this is guesswork based on component buys made by manufacturers. Unfortunately, Apple’s supply chain is a many-headed beast, which is why these reports are often inaccurate. 

    The other problem is Apple’s shift towards services. Selling phones is becoming less important than keeping existing phones running for longer and keeping the user base wedded to the platform. 

    The most important asset that Apple has is the ability to switch to a new business model before they’ve bled the old one dry. 

    cornchip
  • Reply 5 of 20
    22july201322july2013 Posts: 3,598member
    I like seeing Apple low on the list. For one thing, it shows room to grow. For another, it gets monopolist scaremongers off of Apple's back.

    On the other hand, to be fair, unit sales aren't as important as total dollar sales. If Rolls Royce sold as many cars as Ford, but at 10 times the price, (and probably 20 times the profit) that makes Rolls Royce the more profitable company. Profit is more important than unit sales. I don't know what Huawei and Xiaomi phones sell for, but some Samsung phones sell for prices between $100 and $200. What does the average iPhone sell for, $900 or more? Probably more, considering Apple's high cost of storage. If profit levels, rather than unit sales, are counted, then Apple is probably in first place.

    cornchip
  • Reply 6 of 20
    But but but I thought Apple was an evil monopoly abusing it’s massive power??? 🤔🤔
    Beatscornchip
  • Reply 7 of 20
    fred1fred1 Posts: 1,116member
    I’m no expert in finance, far from it, but doesn’t this:
     This drop was expected and is mainly due to the delay in the launch of the new iPhone 12 series, which is usually in the third quarter," the report said.”
    mean that this year’s report should be seen differently than other years’?

    This seems to be the most important thing:
     Despite a dip in iPhone income, Apple posted record-breaking earnings of $64.7 billion on stronger than expected Mac and Services revenue. Aside from iPhone, all of the company's hardware segments grew during the three-month period, fueled by work from home and remote learning trends.”
    JFC_PA
  • Reply 8 of 20
    I like seeing Apple low on the list. For one thing, it shows room to grow. For another, it gets monopolist scaremongers off of Apple's back.

    On the other hand, to be fair, unit sales aren't as important as total dollar sales. If Rolls Royce sold as many cars as Ford, but at 10 times the price, (and probably 20 times the profit) that makes Rolls Royce the more profitable company. Profit is more important than unit sales. I don't know what Huawei and Xiaomi phones sell for, but some Samsung phones sell for prices between $100 and $200. What does the average iPhone sell for, $900 or more? Probably more, considering Apple's high cost of storage. If profit levels, rather than unit sales, are counted, then Apple is probably in first place.

    First off, Samsung had its best quarter in history: https://www.theverge.com/2020/10/29/21539702/samsung-q3-earnings-record-revenue-phone-sales
    Second, Samsung now sells tons of phones that cost far more than any Apple phone: - the Z Fold, the Z Flip, the Note Ultra and S20 Ultra - and they all sell well despite ranging from $1300-$2000 in cost. In fact, the $2000 Z Fold far exceeded Samsung's expectation. 
    Third, while Apple leads in profits, it is nowhere near the ridiculous levels that it once was. At one point it was (erroneously) reported that Apple had 105% of the smartphone industry profits (because where Apple was making a ton of money and Samsung a little, everyone else was losing billions according to analysts). At last report it was down to 65%, and last quarter it may well have been under 60%. While industry analysts once loved talking about smartphone profit percentages back when it appeared that Apple was the only one making money - it was an endless topic of discussion - now that it is no longer the case it is never really discussed anymore and instead gets buried. The analysts who once blared every opportunity they got that Apple was the only one making money off hardware (which was always wrong in the first place as they were basically only looking at Samsung, LG, HTC and Sony while ignoring everyone else, allowing them to basically ignore the profits that Samsung was making by leading the world in smartphone sales in order to focus on how much LG, HTC and Sony were losing) to bragging about how much Apple is crushing it in services (along with predicting that ARM-based Macs will rule the world). 
    Fourth: well take a look at this election. Biden has all but indicated that if he takes office, he will reverse the actions that the Trump administration took against Huawei. Huawei had already signed carrier agreements with AT&T and was on the verge of doing so with Verizon and T-Mobile. When Biden allows Huawei access to Android and allows TSMC to make their Kirin CPUs again and allows Huawei to fulfill their agreement with AT&T and sign them with Verizon and T-Mobile, their sales are going to explode as Huawei offers Samsung quality for a good bit less money. Samsung will still be #1, but Huawei will be #2 with the gap between them and Apple at #3 being pretty significant. 
    avon b7muthuk_vanalingam
  • Reply 9 of 20
    JaiOh81 said:
    But but but big bad apple is too dominant /s 
    Yes on an App Store ecosystem they are, next to Google. Phone shipments have nothing to do with that.
  • Reply 10 of 20
    22july201322july2013 Posts: 3,598member
    cloudguy said:
    I like seeing Apple low on the list. For one thing, it shows room to grow. For another, it gets monopolist scaremongers off of Apple's back.

    On the other hand, to be fair, unit sales aren't as important as total dollar sales. If Rolls Royce sold as many cars as Ford, but at 10 times the price, (and probably 20 times the profit) that makes Rolls Royce the more profitable company. Profit is more important than unit sales. I don't know what Huawei and Xiaomi phones sell for, but some Samsung phones sell for prices between $100 and $200. What does the average iPhone sell for, $900 or more? Probably more, considering Apple's high cost of storage. If profit levels, rather than unit sales, are counted, then Apple is probably in first place.

    First off, Samsung had its best quarter in history: https://www.theverge.com/2020/10/29/21539702/samsung-q3-earnings-record-revenue-phone-sales
    Second, Samsung now sells tons of phones that cost far more than any Apple phone: - the Z Fold, the Z Flip, the Note Ultra and S20 Ultra - and they all sell well despite ranging from $1300-$2000 in cost. In fact, the $2000 Z Fold far exceeded Samsung's expectation. 
    Third, while Apple leads in profits, it is nowhere near the ridiculous levels that it once was. At one point it was (erroneously) reported that Apple had 105% of the smartphone industry profits (because where Apple was making a ton of money and Samsung a little, everyone else was losing billions according to analysts). At last report it was down to 65%, and last quarter it may well have been under 60%. While industry analysts once loved talking about smartphone profit percentages back when it appeared that Apple was the only one making money - it was an endless topic of discussion - now that it is no longer the case it is never really discussed anymore and instead gets buried. The analysts who once blared every opportunity they got that Apple was the only one making money off hardware (which was always wrong in the first place as they were basically only looking at Samsung, LG, HTC and Sony while ignoring everyone else, allowing them to basically ignore the profits that Samsung was making by leading the world in smartphone sales in order to focus on how much LG, HTC and Sony were losing) to bragging about how much Apple is crushing it in services (along with predicting that ARM-based Macs will rule the world). 
    Fourth: well take a look at this election. Biden has all but indicated that if he takes office, he will reverse the actions that the Trump administration took against Huawei. Huawei had already signed carrier agreements with AT&T and was on the verge of doing so with Verizon and T-Mobile. When Biden allows Huawei access to Android and allows TSMC to make their Kirin CPUs again and allows Huawei to fulfill their agreement with AT&T and sign them with Verizon and T-Mobile, their sales are going to explode as Huawei offers Samsung quality for a good bit less money. Samsung will still be #1, but Huawei will be #2 with the gap between them and Apple at #3 being pretty significant. 
    First, I appreciate your attempt to contradict my post. I welcome facts if they dispute me.

    My main point was that Apple's average sales price was probably at or near $1000. I have since learned that Samsung's average sales price is $292. I think that proves my point. I was aware that Samsung had phones that cost thousands but I was also aware of their low cost phones. The fact that Apple's average sales price is at least triple, and maybe four times Samsung's average sales price was, and is, my point. The fact that Samsung sells some phones for $2000 means they have to offset that by selling tons of $100 phones to get an average of $292.

    https://www.sammobile.com/news/average-selling-price-samsung-smartphone-improved-q1-2020/ <--

    Three years ago Samsung's average sales price was $235 so they are doing better.

    I'm not sure how I feel about Huawei, but thanks for bringing that to my attention. I'm not American, but I'm very interested to find out who you will elect.
    cornchipmuthuk_vanalingam
  • Reply 11 of 20
    Because we all know marketshare is far more important than profitability...
     :D 
    cornchip
  • Reply 12 of 20
    tmaytmay Posts: 6,371member
    cloudguy said:
    I like seeing Apple low on the list. For one thing, it shows room to grow. For another, it gets monopolist scaremongers off of Apple's back.

    On the other hand, to be fair, unit sales aren't as important as total dollar sales. If Rolls Royce sold as many cars as Ford, but at 10 times the price, (and probably 20 times the profit) that makes Rolls Royce the more profitable company. Profit is more important than unit sales. I don't know what Huawei and Xiaomi phones sell for, but some Samsung phones sell for prices between $100 and $200. What does the average iPhone sell for, $900 or more? Probably more, considering Apple's high cost of storage. If profit levels, rather than unit sales, are counted, then Apple is probably in first place.

    First off, Samsung had its best quarter in history: https://www.theverge.com/2020/10/29/21539702/samsung-q3-earnings-record-revenue-phone-sales
    Second, Samsung now sells tons of phones that cost far more than any Apple phone: - the Z Fold, the Z Flip, the Note Ultra and S20 Ultra - and they all sell well despite ranging from $1300-$2000 in cost. In fact, the $2000 Z Fold far exceeded Samsung's expectation. 
    Third, while Apple leads in profits, it is nowhere near the ridiculous levels that it once was. At one point it was (erroneously) reported that Apple had 105% of the smartphone industry profits (because where Apple was making a ton of money and Samsung a little, everyone else was losing billions according to analysts). At last report it was down to 65%, and last quarter it may well have been under 60%. While industry analysts once loved talking about smartphone profit percentages back when it appeared that Apple was the only one making money - it was an endless topic of discussion - now that it is no longer the case it is never really discussed anymore and instead gets buried. The analysts who once blared every opportunity they got that Apple was the only one making money off hardware (which was always wrong in the first place as they were basically only looking at Samsung, LG, HTC and Sony while ignoring everyone else, allowing them to basically ignore the profits that Samsung was making by leading the world in smartphone sales in order to focus on how much LG, HTC and Sony were losing) to bragging about how much Apple is crushing it in services (along with predicting that ARM-based Macs will rule the world). 
    Fourth: well take a look at this election. Biden has all but indicated that if he takes office, he will reverse the actions that the Trump administration took against Huawei. Huawei had already signed carrier agreements with AT&T and was on the verge of doing so with Verizon and T-Mobile. When Biden allows Huawei access to Android and allows TSMC to make their Kirin CPUs again and allows Huawei to fulfill their agreement with AT&T and sign them with Verizon and T-Mobile, their sales are going to explode as Huawei offers Samsung quality for a good bit less money. Samsung will still be #1, but Huawei will be #2 with the gap between them and Apple at #3 being pretty significant. 
    First, I appreciate your attempt to contradict my post. I welcome facts if they dispute me.

    My main point was that Apple's average sales price was probably at or near $1000. I have since learned that Samsung's average sales price is $292. I think that proves my point. I was aware that Samsung had phones that cost thousands but I was also aware of their low cost phones. The fact that Apple's average sales price is at least triple, and maybe four times Samsung's average sales price was, and is, my point. The fact that Samsung sells some phones for $2000 means they have to offset that by selling tons of $100 phones to get an average of $292.

    https://www.sammobile.com/news/average-selling-price-samsung-smartphone-improved-q1-2020/ <--

    Three years ago Samsung's average sales price was $235 so they are doing better.

    I'm not sure how I feel about Huawei, but thanks for bringing that to my attention. I'm not American, but I'm very interested to find out who you will elect.
    My reading is that Apple's iPhone ASP is around $785, not $1,000, but I otherwise agree with your post.

    cloudguy said:
    I like seeing Apple low on the list. For one thing, it shows room to grow. For another, it gets monopolist scaremongers off of Apple's back.

    On the other hand, to be fair, unit sales aren't as important as total dollar sales. If Rolls Royce sold as many cars as Ford, but at 10 times the price, (and probably 20 times the profit) that makes Rolls Royce the more profitable company. Profit is more important than unit sales. I don't know what Huawei and Xiaomi phones sell for, but some Samsung phones sell for prices between $100 and $200. What does the average iPhone sell for, $900 or more? Probably more, considering Apple's high cost of storage. If profit levels, rather than unit sales, are counted, then Apple is probably in first place.


    Fourth: well take a look at this election. Biden has all but indicated that if he takes office, he will reverse the actions that the Trump administration took against Huawei. Huawei had already signed carrier agreements with AT&T and was on the verge of doing so with Verizon and T-Mobile. When Biden allows Huawei access to Android and allows TSMC to make their Kirin CPUs again and allows Huawei to fulfill their agreement with AT&T and sign them with Verizon and T-Mobile, their sales are going to explode as Huawei offers Samsung quality for a good bit less money. Samsung will still be #1, but Huawei will be #2 with the gap between them and Apple at #3 being pretty significant. 
    What gives you the impression that a Biden Administration is going to roll back restrictions on China based tech companies? Biden has not "all but indicated" anything about Huawei. More to the point, the Senate, even in the hands of the Democrats, is not going to roll over for China, and that is primarily due to what China has imposed on Hong Kong, and what is happening in the Xin Jinping region with imprisonment of the Uyghur minorities. Huawei Telecom is certainly taking a hit in the west both for mercantilist, but also for human rights, and National Security reasons.

    TMSC is unlikely to make anything leading edge for China based companies, and that is due both to the U.S. stance on dual use technology, ie, civilian and military use, and the fact that China is continuing to threaten Taiwan with invasion. I suspect that Qualcomm will be allowed to sell SOC's for phone use to Huawei.

    https://www.cnn.com/2020/10/29/asia/us-election-us-military-indo-pacific-intl-hnk-ml/index.html

    https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2020/oct/25/us-china-relations-trump-or-biden-election
  • Reply 13 of 20
    BeatsBeats Posts: 3,073member
    cloudguy said:
    I like seeing Apple low on the list. For one thing, it shows room to grow. For another, it gets monopolist scaremongers off of Apple's back.

    On the other hand, to be fair, unit sales aren't as important as total dollar sales. If Rolls Royce sold as many cars as Ford, but at 10 times the price, (and probably 20 times the profit) that makes Rolls Royce the more profitable company. Profit is more important than unit sales. I don't know what Huawei and Xiaomi phones sell for, but some Samsung phones sell for prices between $100 and $200. What does the average iPhone sell for, $900 or more? Probably more, considering Apple's high cost of storage. If profit levels, rather than unit sales, are counted, then Apple is probably in first place.

    First off, Samsung had its best quarter in history: https://www.theverge.com/2020/10/29/21539702/samsung-q3-earnings-record-revenue-phone-sales
    Second, Samsung now sells tons of phones that cost far more than any Apple phone: - the Z Fold, the Z Flip, the Note Ultra and S20 Ultra - and they all sell well despite ranging from $1300-$2000 in cost. In fact, the $2000 Z Fold far exceeded Samsung's expectation. 
    Third, while Apple leads in profits, it is nowhere near the ridiculous levels that it once was. At one point it was (erroneously) reported that Apple had 105% of the smartphone industry profits (because where Apple was making a ton of money and Samsung a little, everyone else was losing billions according to analysts). At last report it was down to 65%, and last quarter it may well have been under 60%. While industry analysts once loved talking about smartphone profit percentages back when it appeared that Apple was the only one making money - it was an endless topic of discussion - now that it is no longer the case it is never really discussed anymore and instead gets buried. The analysts who once blared every opportunity they got that Apple was the only one making money off hardware (which was always wrong in the first place as they were basically only looking at Samsung, LG, HTC and Sony while ignoring everyone else, allowing them to basically ignore the profits that Samsung was making by leading the world in smartphone sales in order to focus on how much LG, HTC and Sony were losing) to bragging about how much Apple is crushing it in services (along with predicting that ARM-based Macs will rule the world). 
    Fourth: well take a look at this election. Biden has all but indicated that if he takes office, he will reverse the actions that the Trump administration took against Huawei. Huawei had already signed carrier agreements with AT&T and was on the verge of doing so with Verizon and T-Mobile. When Biden allows Huawei access to Android and allows TSMC to make their Kirin CPUs again and allows Huawei to fulfill their agreement with AT&T and sign them with Verizon and T-Mobile, their sales are going to explode as Huawei offers Samsung quality for a good bit less money. Samsung will still be #1, but Huawei will be #2 with the gap between them and Apple at #3 being pretty significant. 

    Samsung sells knockoff iPhones for dirt cheap.

    Apple sells real iPhones and most people know that.

    Also Samscum is a dishonest company and has been caught inflating numbers and lying to it's moronic fanbase.
  • Reply 14 of 20
    BeatsBeats Posts: 3,073member
    Because we all know marketshare is far more important than profitability...
     :D 

    BOTH are important. I think it's a shame that Apple allowed knockoffs to flood the market and take that much away. Apple should have 70% marketshare or more.

    Also these are IDC numbers. Been dis-proven in the past.
    edited October 2020
  • Reply 15 of 20
    MacProMacPro Posts: 19,752member
    Beats said:
    Because we all know marketshare is far more important than profitability...
     :D 

    BOTH are important. I think it's a shame that Apple allowed knockoffs to flood the market and take that much away. Apple should have 70% marketshare or more.

    Also these are IDC numbers. Been dis-proven in the past.
    As you infer, market share means dilly squat if you are not comparing Apples to um... Apples.  Most of the time these lists don't.  I didn't read it, is it a truly fair comparison? Whatever, I'll go with profitability any day.
    edited October 2020 tmay
  • Reply 16 of 20
    I hope apple will be investigated for integrating its products so tightly with iPhones that it’s difficult for users to switch to android. Apple Watch customers should be able to use it with an android phone for instance. 
  • Reply 17 of 20
    cloudguy said:
    I like seeing Apple low on the list. For one thing, it shows room to grow. For another, it gets monopolist scaremongers off of Apple's back.

    On the other hand, to be fair, unit sales aren't as important as total dollar sales. If Rolls Royce sold as many cars as Ford, but at 10 times the price, (and probably 20 times the profit) that makes Rolls Royce the more profitable company. Profit is more important than unit sales. I don't know what Huawei and Xiaomi phones sell for, but some Samsung phones sell for prices between $100 and $200. What does the average iPhone sell for, $900 or more? Probably more, considering Apple's high cost of storage. If profit levels, rather than unit sales, are counted, then Apple is probably in first place.

    First off, Samsung had its best quarter in history: https://www.theverge.com/2020/10/29/21539702/samsung-q3-earnings-record-revenue-phone-sales
    Second, Samsung now sells tons of phones that cost far more than any Apple phone: - the Z Fold, the Z Flip, the Note Ultra and S20 Ultra - and they all sell well despite ranging from $1300-$2000 in cost. In fact, the $2000 Z Fold far exceeded Samsung's expectation. 
    Third, while Apple leads in profits, it is nowhere near the ridiculous levels that it once was. At one point it was (erroneously) reported that Apple had 105% of the smartphone industry profits (because where Apple was making a ton of money and Samsung a little, everyone else was losing billions according to analysts). At last report it was down to 65%, and last quarter it may well have been under 60%. While industry analysts once loved talking about smartphone profit percentages back when it appeared that Apple was the only one making money - it was an endless topic of discussion - now that it is no longer the case it is never really discussed anymore and instead gets buried. The analysts who once blared every opportunity they got that Apple was the only one making money off hardware (which was always wrong in the first place as they were basically only looking at Samsung, LG, HTC and Sony while ignoring everyone else, allowing them to basically ignore the profits that Samsung was making by leading the world in smartphone sales in order to focus on how much LG, HTC and Sony were losing) to bragging about how much Apple is crushing it in services (along with predicting that ARM-based Macs will rule the world). 
    Fourth: well take a look at this election. Biden has all but indicated that if he takes office, he will reverse the actions that the Trump administration took against Huawei. Huawei had already signed carrier agreements with AT&T and was on the verge of doing so with Verizon and T-Mobile. When Biden allows Huawei access to Android and allows TSMC to make their Kirin CPUs again and allows Huawei to fulfill their agreement with AT&T and sign them with Verizon and T-Mobile, their sales are going to explode as Huawei offers Samsung quality for a good bit less money. Samsung will still be #1, but Huawei will be #2 with the gap between them and Apple at #3 being pretty significant. 
    Links to back up your statements?  Probably not.
  • Reply 18 of 20

    tomasulu said:
    I hope apple will be investigated for integrating its products so tightly with iPhones that it’s difficult for users to switch to android. Apple Watch customers should be able to use it with an android phone for instance. 
    You miss the point of Apple products.  The integration is why a lot of people buy Apple products.  And no company should be required to make products that support competitors.

    Just because apple integrates well does not make it harder to switch to Android.  For almost all Apple mobile products, there are equivalent categories for Android.
  • Reply 19 of 20
    JaiOh81 said:
    But but but big bad apple is too dominant /s 
    Yes on an App Store ecosystem they are, next to Google. Phone shipments have nothing to do with that.
    So with that logic UPS has a monopoly on its UPS stores. After all I can’t go in one and ship on FedEx or USPS. 
  • Reply 20 of 20
    k2kwk2kw Posts: 2,077member
    cloudguy said:
    I like seeing Apple low on the list. For one thing, it shows room to grow. For another, it gets monopolist scaremongers off of Apple's back.

    On the other hand, to be fair, unit sales aren't as important as total dollar sales. If Rolls Royce sold as many cars as Ford, but at 10 times the price, (and probably 20 times the profit) that makes Rolls Royce the more profitable company. Profit is more important than unit sales. I don't know what Huawei and Xiaomi phones sell for, but some Samsung phones sell for prices between $100 and $200. What does the average iPhone sell for, $900 or more? Probably more, considering Apple's high cost of storage. If profit levels, rather than unit sales, are counted, then Apple is probably in first place.

    First off, Samsung had its best quarter in history: https://www.theverge.com/2020/10/29/21539702/samsung-q3-earnings-record-revenue-phone-sales
    Second, Samsung now sells tons of phones that cost far more than any Apple phone: - the Z Fold, the Z Flip, the Note Ultra and S20 Ultra - and they all sell well despite ranging from $1300-$2000 in cost. In fact, the $2000 Z Fold far exceeded Samsung's expectation. 
    Third, while Apple leads in profits, it is nowhere near the ridiculous levels that it once was. At one point it was (erroneously) reported that Apple had 105% of the smartphone industry profits (because where Apple was making a ton of money and Samsung a little, everyone else was losing billions according to analysts). At last report it was down to 65%, and last quarter it may well have been under 60%. While industry analysts once loved talking about smartphone profit percentages back when it appeared that Apple was the only one making money - it was an endless topic of discussion - now that it is no longer the case it is never really discussed anymore and instead gets buried. The analysts who once blared every opportunity they got that Apple was the only one making money off hardware (which was always wrong in the first place as they were basically only looking at Samsung, LG, HTC and Sony while ignoring everyone else, allowing them to basically ignore the profits that Samsung was making by leading the world in smartphone sales in order to focus on how much LG, HTC and Sony were losing) to bragging about how much Apple is crushing it in services (along with predicting that ARM-based Macs will rule the world). 
    Fourth: well take a look at this election. Biden has all but indicated that if he takes office, he will reverse the actions that the Trump administration took against Huawei. Huawei had already signed carrier agreements with AT&T and was on the verge of doing so with Verizon and T-Mobile. When Biden allows Huawei access to Android and allows TSMC to make their Kirin CPUs again and allows Huawei to fulfill their agreement with AT&T and sign them with Verizon and T-Mobile, their sales are going to explode as Huawei offers Samsung quality for a good bit less money. Samsung will still be #1, but Huawei will be #2 with the gap between them and Apple at #3 being pretty significant. 
    The Z Flip and Z Fold appear to be getting nicer, but I take all android reviewers with a grain of salt because they seem to be willing to ignore problems in their units that they don't talk about until a year later.
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