Apple overtakes Samsung as global top smartphone manufacturer

Posted:
in General Discussion
TrendForce analysts claim Apple produced 77.6 million iPhones in the fourth quarter of 2020, with iPhone 12 models accounting for approximately 69.8 million.

Apple's iPhone 12 Pro
Apple's iPhone 12 Pro


After only just edging out Samsung in Q4 2020 sales in Europe, a new report says that globally Apple sold 10 million more phones than its rival in the same period. Analysts from Trendforce also say that the usual post-holidays dip in sales appears to be considerably less than usual.

"Even though the share of high-end models in global smartphone sales shrank in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic," says TrendForce in a report, "Apple was able to push through the headwinds and capture market share by introducing 5G models and adopting an aggressive pricing strategy."

"Apple produced 77.6 million units of iPhones in 4Q20, an 85% increase QoQ, thereby overtaking Samsung and ranking first amongst all smartphone brands," the report continues. "It should also be pointed out that iPhone 12 devices accounted for about 90% of the iPhone production in 4Q20."

In comparison, Samsung reported a quarter-on-quarter decline of 14%, meaning it produced 67 million phones in Q4 2020. TrendForce analysts expect that Samsung's earlier than usual release of the Galaxy S21 will make it regain the top spot.

"Nevertheless, retaining the leadership position will be increasingly challenging for Samsung as it has been losing market share to several Chinese brands that have risen rapidly over these past few years," says the report.

TrendForce also predicts higher than expected sales for all manufacturers in the first quarter of 2021.

"Historically, smartphone production tends to experience a QoQ drop of around 20% for the first quarter as demand collapses from the peak-season level of the fourth quarter of the preceding year," it says. "However, the performance of the first quarter of this year is expected to defy seasonality."

Specifically, TrendForce expects total iPhone production to reach 54 million in Q1 2021, "with iPhone 12 models again accounting for about 80% of this figure."

TrendForce's latest figures are in line with its previous predictions for 2021. It also fits with a Nikkei Asia report that claimed Apple was increasing its production of the iPhone for early 2021.

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 9
    Correct me if I am wrong: once Apple wasn’t the company who sells the most smartphones, but who has the biggest profit from their sales, and now they’re both. That’s right?
    jas99igorskyjony0watto_cobra
  • Reply 2 of 9
    Just show how loyal Apple’s iPhone fan base is!
    jas99
  • Reply 3 of 9
    Rayz2016Rayz2016 Posts: 6,697member
    Valibomba said:
    Correct me if I am wrong: once Apple wasn’t the company who sells the most smartphones, but who has the biggest profit from their sales, and now they’re both. That’s right?
    According to Trendforce, yes. 

    Tomorrow, another tea leaf reader will say something different. 
    jony0watto_cobra
  • Reply 4 of 9
    avon b7avon b7 Posts: 5,674member
    Valibomba said:
    Correct me if I am wrong: once Apple wasn’t the company who sells the most smartphones, but who has the biggest profit from their sales, and now they’re both. That’s right?
    You are right and wrong. Remember that this number (an estimate) is only a snapshot of a part of the year, which just happens to be Apple's blowout quarter. There was clearly pent up demand for all manner of things that came together for that seasonal blowout quarter (5G, more models, needed improvements in hardware, better pricing structure...) 

    Huawei has also been shackled by US  sanctions which will have helped Apple. Huawei was already topping Samsung at a quarterly level and on track to topping them at a YOY metric too. 

    If you take a look at the figures for the full year, you will get a better idea, as competitors spread their product releases over the year and therefore do not have as much riding on one blowout quarter. 
    CloudTalkin
  • Reply 5 of 9
    LoneStar88LoneStar88 Posts: 318member
    I don't care about any of this yap, yap crap, good or bad in the media.

    I just love Apple products for what they are. Good products.

    Love my late 2014 iMac, my old Mac mini which can still run Mojave for one still-important app, my iPhone XS Max, and my iPad Pro 12.9" with Apple Pencil. Just recently got an Apple Watch Series 6 to replace my 3, and I'm looking forward to the iPhone 12 (or 13) and an M1 iMac.

    I also love Catalina and the latest iOS and iPad OS.
    h4y3sjas99igorskydigital_guybadmonkjony0watto_cobra
  • Reply 6 of 9
    igorskyigorsky Posts: 499member
    Just show how loyal Apple’s iPhone fan base is!
    Just shows how great their products are that people everywhere want to buy them.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 7 of 9
    EsquireCatsEsquireCats Posts: 1,142member
    Even getting close to Samsung's numbers is an achievement. Apple simply doesn't compete in many of the price points that Samsung have - which is also likely Samsung's undoing here. There is always a cheaper, even more blatant knock-off brand waiting in the wings, and it seems Samsung will continue to experience this dilemma: being squeezed from the top end by Apple and by the bottom end by Chinese/Indian budget brands.
    jony0watto_cobra
  • Reply 8 of 9
    sdbryansdbryan Posts: 341member
    Valibomba said:
    Correct me if I am wrong: once Apple wasn’t the company who sells the most smartphones, but who has the biggest profit from their sales, and now they’re both. That’s right?
    It depends on how you define the competition. If it is iOS vs Android, I believe Android is and will continue to be on the majority of phones. Granted that group is significantly splintered and much less likely to be running the current version of its OS. But Samsung by itself has been ahead of Apple in volume.
  • Reply 9 of 9
    nicholfdnicholfd Posts: 509member
    sdbryan said:
    Valibomba said:
    Correct me if I am wrong: once Apple wasn’t the company who sells the most smartphones, but who has the biggest profit from their sales, and now they’re both. That’s right?
    It depends on how you define the competition. If it is iOS vs Android, I believe Android is and will continue to be on the majority of phones. Granted that group is significantly splintered and much less likely to be running the current version of its OS. But Samsung by itself has been ahead of Apple in volume.
    Per this comparison, the "competition" is the manufacturer - not the OS. 
    watto_cobra
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