Apple edges out Samsung on Q4 European smartphone sales

Posted:
in iPhone
Despite the European smartphone market plummeting overall in 2020, Apple's sales in the region were similar to its 2019 numbers -- finishing the year strong with the iPhone 12.

Apple led the field of European smartphone vendors in Q4 2020
Apple led the field of European smartphone vendors in Q4 2020


Apple sold the most smartphones in the final quarter of 2020. The company reportedly moved 15.7 million iPhones in Q4 2020, leading to a first-place 30% market share. Samsung was second, carrying 29% of the market on 15.5 million smartphone sales.

Apple's 2020 sales were only slightly lower than the firm's 2019 numbers. The company's units sold were nearly flat despite the overall European smartphone market falling 14% year-over-year. The COVID-19 pandemic was the primary culprit, leading to both supply and demand issues.

For the 2020 calendar year, Apple sold 41.3 million iPhones, for a 22% share. Samsung led sales for the year on 59.8 million phones.

"Apple may have declined slightly in 2020, but this doesn't tell the full story," said Counterpoint Research's Jan Stryjak. "The decision to delay the launch of the iPhone 12 appears to have paid off for two reasons. First, it gave the iPhone 11 and iPhone SE the opportunity to demonstrate remarkable longevity, selling continuously well in many markets throughout the year."

"And second, it built up demand for the new device which, when finally launched in October, sold spectacularly," continued Stryjak. " In fact, the iPhone 12 was Apple's most successful device launch to date, and drove Apple to a record share high of 30% in Q4 2020."

Tim Cook visiting Europe in 2018
Tim Cook visiting Europe in 2018


While Apple and Samsung sold the most units, Xiaomi was the year's biggest European success. The Chinese firm nearly doubled its 2019 sales in the region, with 26.7 million units on 14% share. Xiaomi relied on strong sales in Spain and Italy to reach those numbers.

Oppo also had a strong year in Europe, achieving 82% growth on 6.5 million sales for the calendar year.

The iPhone 12 family -- also including the iPhone 12 Pro, iPhone 12 Pro Max, and iPhone 12 mini -- propelled Apple to a strong 2020 around the world. The company overtook Samsung as the top global smartphone seller in Q4.

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 7
    Does a Samsung phone being delivered to a retail store constitute a "sale"?
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 2 of 7
    Does a Samsung phone being delivered to a retail store constitute a "sale"?
    Yes it does.  Same as it does for Apple.  It's fairly common knowledge.  A sale is counted when the item is shipped to the customer.  The customer in this instance is the carrier or retailer.  That's how it's always been.
    edited February 26 muthuk_vanalingam
  • Reply 3 of 7
    Does a Samsung phone being delivered to a retail store constitute a "sale"?
    Yes it does.  Same as it does for Apple.  It's fairly common knowledge.  A sale is counted when the item is shipped to the customer.  The customer in this instance is the carrier or retailer.  That's how it's always been.
    Okay. That must mean that Apple may be even further ahead because most Apple phones are probably delivered to the customer without a retailer as an intermediary. Right? And for Samsung it would be the other way around.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 4 of 7
    Does a Samsung phone being delivered to a retail store constitute a "sale"?
    Yes it does.  Same as it does for Apple.  It's fairly common knowledge.  A sale is counted when the item is shipped to the customer.  The customer in this instance is the carrier or retailer.  That's how it's always been.
    Okay. That must mean that Apple may be even further ahead because most Apple phones are probably delivered to the customer without a retailer as an intermediary. Right? And for Samsung it would be the other way around.
    Both assumptions are incorrect.  Most phones, regardless of vendor, are sold through 3rd party partners.  It's a fairly simple and straightforward numbers game.   Apple has just a bit over 500 store worldwide plus their online portal.  Apple's 3rd party network of resellers in the US alone includes carriers and retailers with thousands of locations.  Brick and mortar carrier locations, combined with their associated MVNO's, and  coupled with the number of Walmart's, Targets, Best Buys, etc... you get the picture.  Once you bring in their online presence, their contribution grows and includes the likes of Amazon as well.  Again, this is just the US.

    Worldwide it's even more magnified.  Over half of Apple's stores (approx. 270 out of 510) are in the US, and the rest are concentrated in little pockets around the world.  Their 3rd party network plays an even more important role in iPhone sales.   The same 3rd party logistics apply to Samsung.

    muthuk_vanalingam
  • Reply 5 of 7
    Does a Samsung phone being delivered to a retail store constitute a "sale"?
    Yes it does.  Same as it does for Apple.  It's fairly common knowledge.  A sale is counted when the item is shipped to the customer.  The customer in this instance is the carrier or retailer.  That's how it's always been.
    Okay. That must mean that Apple may be even further ahead because most Apple phones are probably delivered to the customer without a retailer as an intermediary. Right? And for Samsung it would be the other way around.
    Both assumptions are incorrect.  Most phones, regardless of vendor, are sold through 3rd party partners.  It's a fairly simple and straightforward numbers game.   Apple has just a bit over 500 store worldwide plus their online portal.  Apple's 3rd party network of resellers in the US alone includes carriers and retailers with thousands of locations.  Brick and mortar carrier locations, combined with their associated MVNO's, and  coupled with the number of Walmart's, Targets, Best Buys, etc... you get the picture.  Once you bring in their online presence, their contribution grows and includes the likes of Amazon as well.  Again, this is just the US.

    Worldwide it's even more magnified.  Over half of Apple's stores (approx. 270 out of 510) are in the US, and the rest are concentrated in little pockets around the world.  Their 3rd party network plays an even more important role in iPhone sales.   The same 3rd party logistics apply to Samsung.

    I found a nine year old article that backs up your claims. I wish I could find something more recent. Things can change in nine years.

    https://www.idownloadblog.com/2012/10/03/most-iphones-not-sold-by-apple/

    Regarding Samsung, you backed up my claims, not opposed them.
  • Reply 6 of 7
    Does a Samsung phone being delivered to a retail store constitute a "sale"?
    Yes it does.  Same as it does for Apple.  It's fairly common knowledge.  A sale is counted when the item is shipped to the customer.  The customer in this instance is the carrier or retailer.  That's how it's always been.
    Okay. That must mean that Apple may be even further ahead because most Apple phones are probably delivered to the customer without a retailer as an intermediary. Right? And for Samsung it would be the other way around.
    Both assumptions are incorrect.  Most phones, regardless of vendor, are sold through 3rd party partners.  It's a fairly simple and straightforward numbers game.   Apple has just a bit over 500 store worldwide plus their online portal.  Apple's 3rd party network of resellers in the US alone includes carriers and retailers with thousands of locations.  Brick and mortar carrier locations, combined with their associated MVNO's, and  coupled with the number of Walmart's, Targets, Best Buys, etc... you get the picture.  Once you bring in their online presence, their contribution grows and includes the likes of Amazon as well.  Again, this is just the US.

    Worldwide it's even more magnified.  Over half of Apple's stores (approx. 270 out of 510) are in the US, and the rest are concentrated in little pockets around the world.  Their 3rd party network plays an even more important role in iPhone sales.   The same 3rd party logistics apply to Samsung.

    I found a nine year old article that backs up your claims. I wish I could find something more recent. Things can change in nine years.

    https://www.idownloadblog.com/2012/10/03/most-iphones-not-sold-by-apple/

    Regarding Samsung, you backed up my claims, not opposed them.
    Here's some later information.
    https://bgr.com/2017/10/20/iphone-apple-store-vs-verizon-att/

    https://www.imore.com/31-apples-revenue-year-came-directly-its-stores-and-its-website
     
    Regardless, two overarching points remains: 1)"Shipped" and "sold" primarily mean the same thing for both companies.  Both companies sell more of their phones through 3rd party channels.  2) That addresses your original question, and adds further context to how both companies' phones are sold.
    muthuk_vanalingam
  • Reply 7 of 7
    Does a Samsung phone being delivered to a retail store constitute a "sale"?
    Yes it does.  Same as it does for Apple.  It's fairly common knowledge.  A sale is counted when the item is shipped to the customer.  The customer in this instance is the carrier or retailer.  That's how it's always been.
    Okay. That must mean that Apple may be even further ahead because most Apple phones are probably delivered to the customer without a retailer as an intermediary. Right? And for Samsung it would be the other way around.
    Both assumptions are incorrect.  Most phones, regardless of vendor, are sold through 3rd party partners.  It's a fairly simple and straightforward numbers game.   Apple has just a bit over 500 store worldwide plus their online portal.  Apple's 3rd party network of resellers in the US alone includes carriers and retailers with thousands of locations.  Brick and mortar carrier locations, combined with their associated MVNO's, and  coupled with the number of Walmart's, Targets, Best Buys, etc... you get the picture.  Once you bring in their online presence, their contribution grows and includes the likes of Amazon as well.  Again, this is just the US.

    Worldwide it's even more magnified.  Over half of Apple's stores (approx. 270 out of 510) are in the US, and the rest are concentrated in little pockets around the world.  Their 3rd party network plays an even more important role in iPhone sales.   The same 3rd party logistics apply to Samsung.

    I found a nine year old article that backs up your claims. I wish I could find something more recent. Things can change in nine years.

    https://www.idownloadblog.com/2012/10/03/most-iphones-not-sold-by-apple/

    Regarding Samsung, you backed up my claims, not opposed them.
    Here's some later information.
    https://bgr.com/2017/10/20/iphone-apple-store-vs-verizon-att/

    https://www.imore.com/31-apples-revenue-year-came-directly-its-stores-and-its-website
     
    Regardless, two overarching points remains: 1)"Shipped" and "sold" primarily mean the same thing for both companies.  Both companies sell more of their phones through 3rd party channels.  2) That addresses your original question, and adds further context to how both companies' phones are sold.
    One of those links did back up your claim substantially (thanks for the link), although it is based on a US-only survey, so results may differ in other countries, especially where Best Buy does not exist. I'm not in the USA so those stats may not apply to me. I was talking worldwide, not US-only. But your point was well made and appreciated even if it was limited in scope.
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