Apple Inc and Xiaomi Corp (小米) increased their market share in the fourth quarter of last year, despite an annual 0.4 percent dip in global smartphone sales for the quarter, US market researcher Gartner Inc said in a report on Tuesday.
Following four consecutive quarters of decline, Apple posted a 7.8 percent year-on-year increase in sales to 69.55 million units last quarter, with a 17.1 percent market share, after the company lowered prices of the iPhone 11 series and cut prices of previous-generation iPhones, Gartner research vice president Annette Zimmermann said.
The US company replaced Huawei Technologies Co (華為) as the No. 2 smartphone vendor, while the Chinese firm dropped to No. 3 with a 14.3 percent market share, the report said.
As Apple is expected to launch its first 5G smartphone in the third quarter of this year, iPhone users would drive demand as they seek to upgrade in countries where 5G network services are available, it said.
In the No. 4 spot, Xiaomi’s sales increased 16.5 percent year-on-year to 32.45 million units, with an 8 percent global market share, due to the price and performance of its Redmi models, Gartner senior research analyst Anshul Gupta said in the report.
Amid the COVID-19 outbreak in China, smartphone vendors with a large brick-and-mortar presence in the country, such as Oppo Mobile Telecommunications Corp (歐珀) and Vivo Communication Technology Co (維沃), face challenges reaching customers, but Xiaomi could still maintain a strong presence due to its online retail channels, the report said.
In Gartner’s tallies, South Korea’s Samsung Electronics Co continued to dominate the smartphone market with a 17.3 percent market share, despite a slight decline in sales of 0.53 percent to 70.4 million units last quarter.
Throughout last year, Samsung successfully revamped its mid-tier and entry-level smartphones while attracting price-sensitive consumers with cheaper versions of its premium devices, the report said.
Overall, global smartphone sales fell 1 percent to 1.54 billion units last year, from 1.56 billion units in 2018, Gartner data showed.
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