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Samsung regains global smartphone sales lead from Huawei


Samsung, which lost the title of the world’s largest smartphone vendor to Huawei in the second quarter of the year, was successful in reclaiming the top spot in the third quarter. According to the latest data from IDC, Samsung shipped 80.4 million smartphones in Q3 2020, up 2.9% over last year. The company’s flagship Galaxy Note 20 series phones also proved to be quite popular and accounted for nearly 20% of its total volume.

Ryan Reith, program vice president with IDC’s Worldwide Mobile Device Trackers, said in a statement:

While some of the topline numbers may not seem pretty, we are seeing a lot of improvement in the smartphone market both in terms of supply chains and consumer demand. In the large developed markets, it is very clear that 5G will be positioned to most consumers as their next phone regardless of which brand or price point they are focused on. Marketing has ramped up significantly. Products are widely available. Promotions are happening. And it’s clear that the top sales initiative in these markets is to push 5G. Having said this, we still believe consumer demand for 5G is minimal at best, which only adds to the price pressure on channels and OEMs.

Huawei’s smartphone shipments declined by 22% YoY in the third quarter. While its continued decline in international markets comes as no surprise, the company also saw a drop of over 15% in China. Xiaomi registered the highest growth among the top five smartphone vendors, allowing it to surpass Apple as the world’s third-largest smartphone vendor. While Xiaomi’s global market share stood at 9.1% in Q3 last year, it increased to 13.1% this year, thanks to strong sales in India and China.

Apple shipped 41.6 million iPhones during the quarter, down 10.6% compared to the same period a year earlier. Vivo was the fifth-largest smartphone vendor in the third quarter, thanks to 4.2% YoY growth. Its low-end phones continued to be popular in India, where it saw a massive 30% YoY growth in shipments.

As economies around the world had started recovering in the third quarter, the global smartphone market declined just 1.3% YoY. Emerging markets such as India, Brazil, Indonesia, and Russia witnessed particularly strong growth during the July-September period.

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