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STAMFORD, Conn. August 25, 2020

Gartner Says Global Smartphone Sales Declined 20% in Second Quarter of 2020

Samsung and Huawei Moved Into a Virtual Tie for the Top Spot in Global Smartphone Sales

The COVID-19 pandemic continued to impact the global mobile phone industry, as worldwide sales of smartphones to end users totaled 295 million units, a decline of 20.4% in the second quarter of 2020, according to Gartner, Inc.

Among the top five smartphone vendors, Samsung experienced the largest decline in sales while Apple’s smartphone sales were nearly flat year-over-year. Although Huawei also declined in smartphone sales year-over-year, it experienced 27.4% growth, quarter-over-quarter, moving it into a virtual tie with Samsung for the No.1 position.

Almost all major markets, except China, continued to face some form of shelter-in-place restrictions for most of the second quarter of 2020 which led to continued declining smartphone demand. “The improved situation in China saw demand recovering quarter- over-quarter,” said Anshul Gupta, senior research director at Gartner. “Travel restrictions, retail closures and more prudent spending on nonessential products during the pandemic led to the second consecutive quarterly decline in smartphone sales this year.”

Even with increased demand, smartphone sales in China declined 7% in the second quarter of 2020, with nearly 94 million smartphones sold. India which adopted rigorous lockdowns (even restricting e-commerce) recorded the worst smartphone sales decline (-46%) among the top five countries in the world.

Samsung Recorded Largest Decline Among Top Five Global Smartphone Vendors

Samsung sold nearly 55 million smartphones in the second quarter of 2020, a decline of 27.1% year on year (see Table 1). “The COVID-19 pandemic continued to negatively affect Samsung’s performance in the second quarter of 2020,” said Mr. Gupta. “Demand for its flagship S Series smartphones did little to revive its smartphone sales globally.”

Table 1. Worldwide Top 5 Smartphone Sales to End Users by Vendor in 2Q20 (Thousands of Units)

Vendor

2Q20

Units

2Q20 Market Share (%)

2Q19

Units

2Q19 Market Share (%)

2Q20-2Q19 Growth (%)

Samsung

54,759.4

18.6

75,111.8

20.3

-27.1

Huawei

54,125.0

18.4

58,055.7

15.7

-6.8

Apple

38,386.1

13.0

38,522.9

10.4

-0.4

Xiaomi

26,095.2

8.9

33,250.7

9.0

-21.5

OPPO

23,612.1

8.0

28,070.2

7.6

-15.9

Others

97,692.1

33.2

137,282.5

37.1

-28.8

Total

294,669.9

100.0

370,293.9

100.0

-20.4

Due to rounding, some figures may not add up precisely to the totals shown.

Source: Gartner (August 2020)

Huawei’s smartphone sales dropped 6.8% and totaled 54 million units year on year. “Huawei’s performance in China helped it avoid a worse quarterly performance,” said Mr. Gupta. “Huawei extended its lead in China where it captured 42.6% of China’s smartphone market in the second quarter of 2020. Huawei put in place an aggressive product introduction and sales promotion in China in particular and benefited from the strong support of communications services providers for its 5G smartphones.”

Apple sold 38 million iPhones in the second quarter of 2020, a decline of 0.4% year-over- year. “Apple’s iPhone sales fared better in the quarter than most smartphone vendors in the market and also grew sales quarter-over-quarter,” said Annette Zimmermann, research vice president at Gartner. “The improved business environment in China helped Apple achieve growth in the country. In addition, the introduction of the new iPhone SE encouraged users of older phones upgrade their smartphones.”

Gartner clients can learn more in the report “Market Share: PCs, Ultramobiles and Mobile Phones, All Countries, 2Q20 Update.” Additional information on how organizations can use technology to get back on course post-COVID is available in the Reset your business strategy section on gartner.com. Complimentary research, insights and webinars are offered to help leaders build resilience on their path to business recovery.

About Gartner

Gartner, Inc. (NYSE: IT) is the world’s leading research and advisory company and a member of the S&P 500. We equip business leaders with indispensable insights, advice and tools to achieve their mission-critical priorities today and build the successful organizations of tomorrow.

Our unmatched combination of expert-led, practitioner-sourced and data-driven research steers clients toward the right decisions on the issues that matter most. We are a trusted advisor and an objective resource for more than 14,000 enterprises in more than 100 countries — across all major functions, in every industry and enterprise size.

To learn more about how we help decision makers fuel the future of business, visit gartner.com.

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