The COVID-19 pandemic put immense pressure on the smartphone market. We saw a number of factories shutter temporarily and sales falter due to lockdown earlier in the year. Now, the smartphone market is witnessing a rebound but is still not at the same levels as last year. Gartner’s newest report backs up this claim, revealing that the sales declined 5.7% year-on-year. Phone makers shipped close to 366 million units globally in Q3 2020.
While Samsung emerges at the top with a 22% market share and replaces Huawei as it struggles to expand its 5G and smartphone portfolio amidst crackdown from the US. It leads to a massive 21% decline in Huawei’s global market share in comparison to Q3 2019. This might be an expected result, but Xiaomi toppling Apple to emerge as the third biggest phone maker in the world will catch you by surprise.
As you can see in the screenshot below, Apple’s market share remains pretty much the same as last year. There’s only a minor deviation with the Cupertino company shipping 44.5 million units in Q3 2020. Xiaomi, however, managed to ship over 44.4 million units during the same time period.
The Chinese giant’s growth has been fueled by the budget Note 9 series and affordable 5G phones across the globe. Xiaomi also gained massively from Huawei’s decline in its home country, securing a 12.1% market share globally.
Talking about the reason for the decline in sales, the Gartner report says, “Economic uncertainties and continued fear of the next wave of the pandemic continue to put pressure on nonessential spending through the end of 2020. The delay in 5G network upgrades has also limited the opportunity for smartphone vendors.”
Gartner’s latest report is in line with recent IDC and Counterpoint reports as well. All reports suggest that Samsung took the pole position worldwide, with Xiaomi rising to the occasion and meeting the pent-up demand after the lockdowns. “Consumers are limiting their discretionary spend even as some lockdown conditions have started to improve,” said Anshul Gupta, senior research director at Gartner.
Further, the report reveals that India was one of the leading markets that fueled the growth, with a 9.3% increase in sales, in Q3 2020. Other two of the five key leading markets, Indonesia and Brazil contributed 8.5% and 3.3% to the Q3 2020 shipments respectively