Worldwide Smartphone Market Is Improving Thanks To Social Distancing

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Even with the pandemic hitting the world last year it is looking like the worldwide smartphone market is improving. According to IDC, the market continued to grow during the holiday quarter of 2020 (Q420). The continued growth returns the market to familiar ground with a 4.3% year-over-year growth.

During 2020 the market declined 5.9% compared to 2019. But the market is trending toward a healthy recovery. IDC actually believes the momentum will continue into 2021 and remain strong. Nabila Popal says a lot of elements contributed to the smartphone market recovery.

These include pent-up demand, continued supply push on 5G, aggressive promotions, and popularity of mid-priced phones. Popal is the research director with IDC’s Worldwide Mobile Device Trackers. Popal with his experience knows what he is talking about.


He continues by saying “vendors also seem to be better prepared for the second lockdown.” This means vendors have the right channel to set up and fulfill orders easier.

The lockdowns and the pandemic have people spending less on other areas they normally spend on. Areas like leisure, travel, and dining have seen spending decrease. Because of this smartphones have reaped the benefits of people spending less in those areas.

IDC says there was a clear shift among the top 5 smartphone vendors. During 4Q20 Apple delivered a strong performance. Apple returns to the number one position with 90.1 million devices shipped in Q4. This strong performance stems from the demand the iPhone 12 series produced.


The smartphone market is improving as a result of people wanting to stay connected

Q420 Smartphone Shipments

Apple’s performance is the largest shipment volume from a vendor in a single quarter. This resulted in a 23.4% market share with 22.2% year-over-year growth. However, Apple is not the only vendor with positive numbers. Samsung takes the number 2 spot with 73.9 million devices shipped and a 19.1% market share.

Samsung’s A-series of devices contributed to this growth. Xiaomi takes third place with 33.8 million devices shipped and an 8.8% market share. Oppo takes a solid fourth place with Huawei rounding out the top five.


Unfortunately, for Huawei and their legal troubles the company saw reduced shipments. Shipments of 32.3 million and 8.4% market share saw Huawei see a huge 42.4% year-over-year decline.

This growth shows how important smartphones have been during these hard times. People around the world have been affected equally, and they all need to stay connected.

With social distancing and traveling being super limited everyone around the world need to keep in contact with friends, family, and all loved ones. With that in mind, and the continued pandemic it is easy to imagine that the smartphone market will continue its upward trajectory.