Apple’s iPhone passed Samsung to become the top global smartphone brand during the fourth quarter of 2020. Apple produced 77.6 million iPhone units in Q4 2020, 69.8 million of those units were iPhone 12 models.
Those numbers come from a report by TrendForce. The report says Apple sold 10 million more phones than its largest rival during the quarter. Samsung sold 67 million phones, a quarter-on-quarter decline of 14%. Meanwhile, Apple recorded an 85% increase quarter-on-quarter. The increase in sales was driven in part by first-time support for 5G across the iPhone flagship lineup. Apple also adopted an aggressive pricing strategy during the quarter.
TrendForce sees higher than expected smartphone sales for all manufacturers during the first quarter of this year.
“Historically, smartphone production tends to experience a QoQ drop of around 20% for the first quarter as demand collapses from the peak-season level of the fourth quarter of the preceding year,” say TrendForce analysts. “However, the performance of the first quarter of this year is expected to defy seasonality.”
iPhone 12 sales are likely to remain strong in the first quarter of 2021, with total iPhone production expected to reach 54 million units. iPhone 12 models are again expected to account for about 80% of this figure.
Despite Samsung’s losing ground to Apple in Q4 2020, TrendForce expects Samsung to take the global smartphone production crown for all of 2021, due to the South Korean phone maker’s new flagship Galaxy S21 lineup, as well as promotional pricing to boost sales of its latest high-end devices.