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Share of smartphone shipments worldwide 2015-2020, by vendor

Apple held the largest share of the smartphone market in the fourth quarter of 2020, based on the number of devices shipped. Apple reclaimed the position of sole market leader during the quarter, largely driven by the successful release of the iPhone 12. Huawei were one of the biggest losers during the quarter, with their share of the market slipping from 14 percent to eight percent from quarter to quarter.

The rise of Realme

While major players like Samsung, Huawei, and Apple consistently vie for the title of largest smartphone vendor, the middle-range of the market is hotly contested. Huawei and Xiaomi stand as two examples of brands that moved from having a relatively low market share five years ago, with Xiaomi actually claiming third position from Apple in the third quarter of 2020. Another brand appears to have started a similar march, with Realme consistently appearing in the top lists of smartphone vendors in recent quarters.

Bouyed by successful sales in countries such as India, Realme claimed four percent of the overall market in the third and fourth quarters of 2020. Given that Realme have increased their market share from 1.3 percent in the second quarter of 2019, to four percent in the second half of 2020, the brand has asserted itself as one to watch in the coming months. Huawei, for example, managed to increase their market share from 4.1 percent in the second quarter of 2012 to become a market leader, proving it is not impossible for new entrants to reach the upper echelons of the market.

The changing face of the smartphone market

The make-up of the smartphone market has changed significantly since 2009. Nokia used to lead the industry with almost 50 percent of the smartphone market share in 2007, and before the arrival of the iPhone it was hard for consumers to imagine Nokia becoming a market outsider.

RIM’s Blackberry devices stand as an example of the effect large-display touch screen devices had on the market. Blackberry devices sold on a number of strengths, including a well-designed physical QWERTY keyboard and secure enterprise integration. The Blackberry lost its unique value as touchscreen devices improved, leading to a significant decline in revenue. RIM eventually ceased development of the Blackberry in 2016.

Smartphone shipments' share worldwide by vendor from 1Q'15 to 4Q'20

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In cooperation with
Counterpoint Research
Release date

January 2021



Survey time period

2015 to 2020

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Statistics on "LG Electronics"

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