In the fourth quarter, Apple Inc’s smartphone shipments soared 22 percent to record levels, making it the largest seller in the world, while those for Huawei plummeted as US sanctions took effect.
The first 5G-enabled devices from Apple, an expanded number of models and a new look for the iPhone 12 lineup, tapped up the demand for upgrades, particularly in China.
“In China, Apple seized the perfect opportunity to grab Huawei’s high-end market share, since the latter basically does not have ample supply even though the brand’s demand is still there,” said Nicole Peng, who tracks Canal’s Chinese smartphone market.
Data from research firm IDC showed that shipments reached 90.1 million phones, a record for any quarter, giving it a global market share of 23.4pc.
The data comes on the heels of Apple announcing Wednesday’s record holiday quarter revenues, with revenue for the first time crossing $100 billion.
Sales grew 57pc in Greater China, which includes Hong Kong and Taiwan.
In an interview, Chief Executive Tim Cook told Reuters that upgraders in particular had set an all-time record in China, “We had two of the top three selling smartphones in urban China.”
The South Korean company saw a year-on-year rise of 6.2pc to 73.9 million units, giving it a 19.1pc market share.
Apple took the top spot from Samsung Electronics, which is always the case in the fourth quarter when it releases new products.
Unsurprisingly, Huawei Technologies Co Ltd suffered the most pain with shipments falling a record 42.4pc to 32.3 million.
But Counterpoint and Canalys research firms, which also published data on Thursday, pegged Huawei at number six, marking the first time it has dropped out of the top five in their rankings in years.
The number three seller, China’s Xiaomi Corp, saw its shipments skyrocket 32pc while according to IDC, shipments for fourth-ranked Oppo climbed 10.7pc.