Samsung may still be the world’s largest smartphone manufacturer, but according to a new report, Apple dominated the Korean firm in Q4 2020 smartphone sales.

A brand-new report from Counterpoint Research suggests that the Cupertino tech giant saw 96% growth quarter-on-quarter, while Samsung managed 22% quarter-on-quarter growth by comparison. A lot of this growth is likely bolstered by the holiday season and the recent release of the iPhone 12 series.

Samsung still managed to hold on to the top spot as the king of global smartphone makers in 2020 though, retaining 19% of the global market share — down 1% from 2019. Meanwhile, Apple’s 8% year-on-year sales growth for Q4 2020 saw total market share up from 13 to 15% for 2020.

Huawei, still reeling from sanctions imposed throughout late-2019 and 2020 retained some relevancy with 14% of the total global smartphone market share for the previous 12 months. However, this will undoubtedly dip due the sale of sub-brand Honor in recent months.

Other players such as Xiaomi and BBK-owned firms — such as Oppo and Realme — faired exceptionally well in 2020. Xiaomi will have sights on that third-place spot in the global shipment rankings after a 31% bump in Q4 2020 with an overall 17% YoY growth helping boost recent gains. Realme couldn’t maintain the huge 417% gains YoY but firmly established the brand within the top 10 in 2021 with a strong showing in India and global launches helping propel the brand as one to watch throughout 2021.

Most notably, Apple’s huge recent sales growth will be a big concern for Samsung, as COVID-19 has affected sales for almost all the major firms. Apple seems to have maintained momentum and will undoubtedly push the Korean firm throughout 2021 with an even more diverse product lineup.

Google still stuggles to gain a foothold in an increasingly competitive market, but according to Counterpoint, sales performance improved for Pixel hardware throughout Q4 2020. This is owed to the recent Pixel 4a and Pixel 5 releases. However, it was not enough to see the firm even feature on the sales leaderboards alongside Apple, Samsung, and more.

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Damien Wilde

Damien is a UK-based video producer for 9to5Google. Find him on Twitter: @iamdamienwilde. Email: damien@9to5mac.com

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