Thanks to record-breaking sales of its first 5G iPhones, Apple regained the top spot in the smartphone market in the fourth quarter of 2020. According to estimates from IDC, the Cupertino-based tech giant shipped 90 million smartphones in the final three months of 2020, more than any company ever managed in a single quarter.
With Samsung, Xiaomi and OPPO also seeing shipments grow compared to the previous year, the overall market returned to growth after four consecutive quarters of declining shipments. "There are a lot of elements at play that are fueling the smartphone market recovery – pent-up demand, continued supply push on 5G, aggressive promotions, and the popularity of low to mid-priced phones," said Nabila Popal, research director at IDC. “Lockdowns also have people spending less on areas like leisure, travel, and dining out – and smartphones are benefitting from this.”