Smartphone sales drop 12.5% in 2020 worldwide

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New Delhi: Smartphone sales worldwide declined by 12.5% in 2020 as consumers held off spending during covid-19, according to a new report by market research firm Gartner.

The company said the global smartphone market declined by 5.4% in the fourth quarter of 2020. Apple took the top spot in the quarter, cornering 20.8% of the market and growing at over 3% from the year-ago.

South Korea’s Samsung took the second spot with 16.2% market share, falling by about 1% over the year-ago period. Xiaomi, Oppo and Huawei took the next three spots, with 11.3%, 8.9% and 8.9% market share.

“The sales of more 5G smartphones and lower-to-mid-tier smartphones minimized the market decline in the fourth quarter of 2020,” said Anshul Gupta, senior research director at Gartner. “Even as consumers remained cautious in their spending and held off on some discretionary purchases, 5G smartphones and pro-camera features encouraged some end users to purchase new smartphones or upgrade their current smartphones in the quarter,” he added.

Chinese smartphone maker Huawei registered the highest decline among the top five smartphone vendors in the world. This followed the ban enforced on it by Google, following sanctions by the US government.

The global decline also impacted India. In its quarterly mobile phone tracker for the fourth quarter of 2020, the International Data Corp. (IDC) noted that shipments in India declined by 2% year-on-year in 2020, for the first time since 2009.

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