This is according to Gartner who claims that Apple’s year-on-year growth went up to 14.9%, while Samsung saw its own sales drop by 11.8% in the same period. Looking into the year of 2020, Apple actually grew by 3.3% while Samsung fell by 14.6%, which is actually rather interesting when you think about it given that Apple only sells a few models compared to Samsung who might have a wider appeal.
According to Anshul Gupta, senior research director at Gartner, it seems that 5G actually helped spur the demand for smartphones even during the economic crisis brought on by the pandemic. “The sales of more 5G smartphones and lower-to-mid-tier smartphones minimized the market decline in the fourth quarter of 2020. 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.”
It remains to be seen if Apple will be able to maintain their lead or if Samsung will be able to rebound. However, previous reports have suggested that other Chinese handset makers like Xiaomi or Oppo could possibly eventually dominate the market now that Huawei is slowly slipping out of the picture.