Smartphone sales down 5.7% in 3Q of 2020

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We weren’t really expecting a smartphone boom in the recently finished quarter of the year so it’s not really surprising that the numbers show sales are down this third quarter of 2020. Sales declined 5.7% from July-September this year as compared to the same period last year. And again, not surprisingly, overall global mobile phone sales are still down year-over-year. The good news for at least one brand, Xiaomi, is that they have overtaken Apple to become the 3rd best-selling smartphone vendor worldwide.

According to numbers from Gartner, during the third quarter of 2020, 366 million smartphone units were sold but it was still down 5.7% compared to last year. The slightly good news is that the numbers are improving compared to the first two quarters of this year. But even as a lot of the vendors started bringing 5G smartphones and people going out of their homes more, numbers are still not where the industry wants them to be.

When it comes to best-selling vendors, Chinese brand Xiaomi is now in 3rd place in terms of sales to end users by vendor. Samsung is still top with a 22% market share while Huawei is still second with 14%. But Xiaomi and Apple have switched places with the former now at 12% while the latter switches to 4th with 11%. Oppo rounds out the top 5 with 8% while other brands are lumped together with a 32% market share.

Some parts of the market are already showing some signs of recovery, like “mature” Asia Pacific and Latin America. And since near normal conditions are now happening in China, we’re seeing improvements in production and supply as well. The only two brands that showed growth in the third quarter are Samsung and Xiaomi. The latter actually gained some from Huawei’s losses and had a strong performance in China.

While we’re hearing good news about vaccines in the fight against COVID-19, there are still a lot of uncertainties and fears among various regions in the world. With smartphones and other devices being relegated to non-essentials, we’ll see how the rest of the year performances will be affected by this.

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