2020 Ends Well for Only Some Smartphone Manufacturers

February 12, 2021

The numbers are out: the fourth quarter of 2020 showed a 6 percent year-over-year decline for the smartphone industry, although some companies fared worse than others.

Despite the pandemic and its effect on consumer spending as a whole, both Samsung and Apple managed to report increases in the last quarter of the year. Apple’s delayed release of the iPhone 12 hurts its third quarter numbers, but made up for those losses with record sales of its newest phone in the fourth quarter. Samsung’s release of the Galaxy S20 FE made the Korean company’s quarter as well. According to Counterpoint Research, other smartphone manufacturers all reported major losses, including Google’s 50 percent decrease year-over-year. 

Analysts cite cell phone carriers for Apple and Samsung’s success. Both phones were available for low monthly payments through major service providers, which accounted for many people upgrading from older versions of Samsung and Apple smartphones to the newest models.  

Continuing sanctions against Huawei and other Chinese companies have also affected the lineup of who was able to report gains in the end of 2020. 

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