Smartphone Sales Declined Again in Q3

Posted on November 25, 2020 by Paul Thurrott in Android, iOS, Mobile with 15 Comments

Smartphone makers sold 360 million units in the third quarter of 2020, a decline of 3.6 percent compared to the 373.7 million sold in the year-ago quarter. That’s according to data averaged between Gartner and IDC, as always.

But to be fully transparent here, I’ve been waiting on the official Gartner data for weeks: IDC reported its results almost a month ago and that link above is to a third-party site that cites Gartner’s numbers. I can’t find them on the Gartner website: The last report it has published publicly is for the second quarter of 2020.

“While some of the topline numbers may not seem pretty, we are seeing a lot of improvement in the smartphone market both in terms of supply chains and consumer demand,” IDC’s Ryan Reith said. “In the large developed markets, it is very clear that 5G will be positioned to most consumers as their next phone regardless of which brand or price point they are focused on … Having said this, we still believe consumer demand for 5G is minimal at best, which only adds to the price pressure on channels and OEMs.”

Anyway. Samsung remained the number one maker of smartphones, with 80.6 million units sold and 22.4 percent marketshare and 2.6 percent growth year-over-year. Huawei remained the number two seller of smartphones, though that will change dramatically this quarter because the firm sold off its Honor line of handsets: Huawei sold 51.85 million units, a decline of 21 percent, and it ended up with 14.4 percent marketshare. Xiaomi was number three, with 45.5 million units sold, 12.6 percent marketshare, and growth of 37.5 percent.

As for Apple, it still ended up in the top four despite not launching its late 2020 iPhones until after the quarter ended: Apple sold 41.1 million units, good for 11.4 percent marketshare. Sales were down just 5 percent year-over-year, which is actually pretty amazing. We can expect the firm to jump considerably this quarter.