MANILA - Apple emerged as the top smartphone vendor in the fourth quarter of 2020 after it introduced the iPhone 12 series, but Samsung still kept the top spot for the year, according to industry tracker Gartner.
While smartphone sales fell 5.4 percent in the fourth quarter last year, Apple's new line of iPhone 12s proved very popular, driving sales up 14.9 percent compared to the same period in 2019, Gartner said.
Apple sold 79.9 million iPhones in the Oct-Dec period, outselling even Samsung which moved just 62.1 million units during the period. Xiaomi, Oppo, and Huawei came in third, fourth and fifth respectively.
In terms of full year sales, Apple's fourth quarter sales spurt thrust it ahead of former number 2 Huawei, which saw sales fall 24.1 percent last year, following troubles with the US government and Google's move to ban Huawei phones from using Google apps.
Apple sold 199.8 million iPhones last year versus Huawei's 182.6 million units.
Samsung meanwhile still lorded it over rivals in terms of sales, with 253 million phones sold.
Gartner projects smartphone sales worldwide to grow 11.4 percent this year to 1.5 billion units, as users upgrade their handsets to 5G capable models.