Market research firm Gartner in its latest statement said Apple sold 79.9 million iPhones during the final three months of 2020, a rise of 14.9 percent compared to the same period a year ago.
For comparison, Samsung sold 62.1 million smartphones to end users during the quarter, down 11.8 percent versus Q4 2019.
As per Gartner, the last time Apple was the leading smartphone vendor was in the fourth quarter of 2016. Glancing at the entire year, Samsung took home the crown with 253 million smartphones sold followed by Apple with 199.8 million iPhones sold.
Huawei, Xiaomi and Oppo carried up the rear with sales of 182.6 million units, 145.8 million units and 111.8 million units, respectively.
Only Apple and Xiaomi realized annual sales growth; Samsung’s sales were down 14.6 percent compared to 2019, while Huawei saw the highest decline among the top five vendors with a dip of 24.1 percent.
Unsurprisingly, Huawei was negatively affected by the continued ban of Google apps on smartphones sold by the company.
Anshul Gupta, senior research director at Gartner, believes that the availability of lower-end 5G smartphones and innovative additional features will be the deciding factor for end users looking to upgrade their existing phones in 2021.