Tuesday, February 23rd 2021

Gartner Says Worldwide Smartphone Sales Declined 5% in Fourth Quarter of 2020

Global sales of smartphones to end users declined 5.4% in the fourth quarter of 2020, according to Gartner, Inc. Smartphone sales declined 12.5% in full year 2020.

"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."
The launch of the 5G iPhone 12 series helped Apple record double-digit growth in the fourth quarter of 2020. Apple surpassed Samsung to retake the No. 1 global smartphone vendor spot (see Table 1). The last time Apple was the top smartphone vendor was in the fourth quarter for 2016.
Full Year 2020 Results
Samsung experienced a year-on-year decline of 14.6% in 2020, but this did not prevent it from retaining its No. 1 global smartphone vendor position in full year results. It faced tough competition from regional smartphone vendors such as Xiaomi, OPPO and Vivo as these brands grew more aggressive in global markets. In 2020, Apple and Xiaomi were the only two smartphone vendors of the top five ranking to experience growth.

Huawei recorded the highest decline among the top five smartphone vendors which made it lose the No. 2 position to Apple in 2020 (see Table 2). The impact of the ban on use of Google applications on Huawei's smartphones was detrimental to Huawei's performance in the year and negatively affected sales.
"In 2021, the availability of lower end 5G smartphones and innovative features will be deciding factors for end users to upgrade their existing smartphones," said Mr. Gupta. "The rising demand for affordable 5G smartphones outside China will boost smartphone sales in 2021."
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21 Comments on Gartner Says Worldwide Smartphone Sales Declined 5% in Fourth Quarter of 2020

#1
nguyen
How Samsung manage to remove the charger and earbuds from the S21 models and make them 200usd more expensive than S20 models in my country is beyond me, let see how S21 sale turn out in a couple of months.
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#2
Vayra86
nguyenHow Samsung manage to remove the charger and earbuds from the S21 models and make them 200usd more expensive than S20 models in my country is beyond me, let see how S21 sale turn out in a couple of months.
The cost of 5G. mmWave takes space and is costly and is even incorporated in designs that don't have it yet.

Lovely innovation...
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#3
Gungar
Vayra86The cost of 5G. mmWave takes space and is costly and is even incorporated in designs that don't have it yet.

Lovely innovation...
the S20 also have 5G
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#4
nguyen
Vayra86The cost of 5G. mmWave takes space and is costly and is even incorporated in designs that don't have it yet.

Lovely innovation...
Yeah let see anyone use their 5G network when under lockdown :D.
On the other hand Exynos 2100 is still a failure. Samsung might as well use all their fab for other chips, like Ampere :D
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#5
Vayra86
Gungarthe S20 also have 5G
Its very common for later models to get the price premium while earlier ones draw consumers into a target audience. The fact remains, features get axed while prices increase across the board and the reason is 5G.

At the same time, the supposed benefit of 5G is.... nonexistant. 4G does just fine for 99% of all purposes.
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#6
DeathtoGnomes
I need a new phone, this Iphone5 is still going strong even if its slow, its still good enough to watch movies thru plex.
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#7
Vayra86
DeathtoGnomesI need a new phone, this Iphone5 is still going strong even if its slow, its still good enough to watch movies thru plex.
If you need Apple, my experience with the new SE has been pretty good so far. Smooth, feature complete, and the size is right.
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#9
Vya Domus
Vayra86The cost of 5G. mmWave takes space and is costly and is even incorporated in designs that don't have it yet.
I am not buying it, they removed chargers and headphones because it increases their margins, it's that simple.

The S20 line had those and 5G mmWave and they sold them just fine. Or are you suggesting the technology went backwards and radios somehow got more expensive ?

I need to change my phone and this might be the year I try an iPhone, they're all the same now in terms of value, no real advantages to either.
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#10
dinmaster
still rocking a note 5, does everything i want just a little slower.. i dont need the latest and at the prices they are no wonder its starting to decline, plus everyone is at home as well no need for the little screen when you got the big tv haha
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#11
voltage
to turn that around and have 5% + it's simple, increase camera capability and reduce the overall weight of phones, even if the weight reduction is minor, people will appreciate it. that said, I am still using my almost 7 year old Samsung galaxy grand prime. It works the same as when new, and as cheap of a phone as it was, it still sounds (voice, send and receive) better than any iphone. All iphones sound terrible, people voices often like like they have a pillow over their mouth.
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#12
AusWolf
I'm actually surprised that smartphones are still selling. Every generation is a copy-paste version of the last one. Slightly faster CPU, slightly better camera. Boring. :sleep:
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#13
yotano211
I just bought a new to me, used s10+ 1tb phone last month. My old s9+ was dying.
I don't need 5g, I only need more space, this 1tb on the phone is perfect.
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#14
neatfeatguy
Wife still using her LG G5. I picked up a replacement battery for it and she said it works so much better now - her phone was starting to turn off when it was showing 30-40% battery remaining. Here's hoping a new battery keeps that phone going for her for another 2-3 years.

I still have my S8....stupid ass Bixby button on it....worthless software. Anyway. I like the phone, but I hate the Samsung Bixby software on it. My phone is still doing good, holds a decent battery charge on it still.

We only replace our phones when they stop working correctly. Last phones we had were HTC DNA - decent phones, but at a constant with no SIM card detected. Had to constantly pull out the SIM and put it back in to resolve the message. Otherwise worked fairly well. Wife's crapped out first - probably bad memory, phone became really slow and at times non-responsive. About 8 months later mine finally failed - internal speaker failure. I could hear folks when they called, but I couldn't call out because no one could hear me.

I don't understand people that constantly upgrade to a newer phone when the one they have works just fine. Seems like such a waste when the newer phones really don't have anything new to offer other than maybe a camera that has .5 megapixel improvement over the last iteration that came out 8 months prior.
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#15
ObiFrost
I don't really see a point to annually upgrade something, if it works perfectly fine for another 4-5 years. Last September bought on a sale Y5 2019 for $95, which is actually a great step up from my M2 Aqua back in 2015 for $173. Glad low end and mid range has leaped significantly in price/performance ratio. Also, can't seem to comprehend the demand for high end other than wasting away that disposable money, instead of investing somewhere more sensible with doubling returns. I guess I'm too old to appreciate better quality cameras and higher refresh rate screens. As for the "mobile gamers" part of video game spectrum, I never considered that market a gaming market and never will.
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#16
80-watt Hamster
AusWolfI'm actually surprised that smartphones are still selling. Every generation is a copy-paste version of the last one. Slightly faster CPU, slightly better camera. Boring. :sleep:
neatfeatguyI don't understand people that constantly upgrade to a newer phone when the one they have works just fine. Seems like such a waste when the newer phones really don't have anything new to offer other than maybe a camera that has .5 megapixel improvement over the last iteration that came out 8 months prior.
ObiFrostI don't really see a point to annually upgrade something, if it works perfectly fine for another 4-5 years. Last September bought on a sale Y5 2019 for $95, which is actually a great step up from my M2 Aqua back in 2015 for $173. Glad low end and mid range has leaped significantly in price/performance ratio. Also, can't seem to comprehend the demand for high end other than wasting away that disposable money, instead of investing somewhere more sensible with doubling returns. I guess I'm too old to appreciate better quality cameras and higher refresh rate screens. As for the "mobile gamers" part of video game spectrum, I never considered that market a gaming market and never will.
It's very likely not nearly as many people upgrade every release as you all seem to think. (Caveat: I have no evidence of this beyond anecdotal. Median in my social circle seems to be every three.) Besides, manufacturers have to keep pumping out new versions. Competitive markets are a b**** like that.
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#17
AusWolf
ObiFrostI don't really see a point to annually upgrade something, if it works perfectly fine for another 4-5 years. Last September bought on a sale Y5 2019 for $95, which is actually a great step up from my M2 Aqua back in 2015 for $173. Glad low end and mid range has leaped significantly in price/performance ratio. Also, can't seem to comprehend the demand for high end other than wasting away that disposable money, instead of investing somewhere more sensible with doubling returns. I guess I'm too old to appreciate better quality cameras and higher refresh rate screens. As for the "mobile gamers" part of video game spectrum, I never considered that market a gaming market and never will.
A high end phone has a faster CPU that gets hot and throttles like crazy. To supply it with power, it has a larger battery that keeps it running as long as other phones do. It's essentially the same experience as a low end phone with a pre-heated rock attached to it (at least the way I see it).
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#18
FreedomEclipse
~Technological Technocrat~
Xiaomi has been going on promo like every week of the month on amazon and their own webstore. They have been shitting out phones like nobodies business. I bought one of their Note 9 Pro's on amazon promo. Compared to my 3 and a bit year old Mate 9 its replacing i have a few grumbles but these are grumbles over features i would like to have rather than grumbles over it not serving my needs the way i need it to.

More ram, more powerful energy efficient CPU, slightly bigger screen, bigger/fresher battery etc etc

My mate 9 cost me $400 back in the day, This Note 9 Pro costs about half that on promo. I probably could have gone with an even cheaper handset too and saved more money as im not really demanding when it comes to what i use my phone for. All of my gaming is reserved for when i get home so i didnt need a high refresh rate screen.

My mate 9 was plenty good though, and it was still good if the the battery didnt start losing 15-20% of its charge every night. Now i have battery life that lasts 3 days between charges and still holds a good amount of charge even at 25% battery life (I normally charge when the battery hits between 30-35% so i could have easily stretched it out for a 4th day)

No 5g on it either but im not super fussed about that. 4g is good when my network isnt throttling. Surf the net, watch youtube occasionally, listen to music, whatsapp/hangouts, make and receive a phone call once in a blue moon and thats all i need a phone to do.

The non-premium feel is a bitter pill to swallow though. It definitely feels like a cheap handset.
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#19
Rakhmaninov3
Every year Apple adds more magic that makes the user dance and sing why does nobody get this! iPhone is obviously proof happiness can be bought!
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#20
AusWolf
Rakhmaninov3Every year Apple adds more magic that makes the user dance and sing why does nobody get this! iPhone is obviously proof happiness can be bought!
Yeah, but you have to buy that happiness every year. :laugh:
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#21
my_name_is_earl
We don't need no 5g.. We need truly unlimited data at a fair price with no throttling.
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