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Gartner downgrades global smartphone market

Giant analyst firm Gartner likes to take its sweet time about publishing smartphone numbers and has eventually come up with a more pessimistic view than its quicker peers.

The likes of Counterpoint got their global smartphone shipment data out over a month ago. They noted a sharp decline in Huawei’s numbers thanks to all the hassle it’s getting from the US, but found this was compensated for by a great quarter from Xiaomi. That allowed them to report roughly flat year-on-year growth in total.

Gartner begs to differ, although it should be noted that it claims to track sales to end-users rather than shipments into the channel. While its Q3 2020 numbers were fairly similar to Counterpoint’s, its total for the year-ago quarter was much higher, leading it to book a year-on-year decline of 5.7%.

“Consumers are limiting their discretionary spend even as some lockdown conditions have started to improve,” said Anshul Gupta of Gartner. “Global smartphone sales experienced moderate growth from the second quarter of 2020 to the third quarter. This was due to pent-up demand from previous quarters.

“Early signs of recovery can be seen in a few markets, including parts of mature Asia/Pacific and Latin America. Near normal conditions in China improved smartphone production to fill in the supply gap in the third quarter which benefited sales to some extent. For the first time this year, smartphone sales to end users in three of the top five markets i.e., India, Indonesia and Brazil increased, growing 9.3%, 8.5% and 3.3%, respectively.”

Here are Gartner’s numbers.

Table 1. Worldwide Top 5 Smartphone Sales to End Users by Vendor in 3Q20 (Thousands of Units)

Vendor 3Q20

Units

3Q20 Market Share (%) 3Q19

Units

3Q19 Market Share (%) 3Q20-3Q19 Growth (%)
Samsung 80,816.0 22.0 79,056.7 20.3 2.2
Huawei 51,830.9 14.1 65,822.0 16.9 -21.3
Xiaomi 44,405.4 12.1 32,927.9 8.5 34.9
Apple 40,598.4 11.1 40,833.0 10.5 -0.6
OPPO 29,890.4 8.2 30,581.4 7.9 -2.3
Others 119,117.4 32.5 139,586.7 35.9 -14.7
Total 366,658.6 100.0 388,807.7 100.0 -5.7

Due to rounding, some figures may not add up precisely to the totals shown.

Source: Gartner (November 2020)


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