by David Posted on 23 feb 2021, 13:05:00
The smartphone industry grew very rapidly in the last decade due to various novelty factors and the replacement of a basic phone with something more modern. But in the last couple of years, at a time when almost everyone already has a smartphone, the sector’s sales have started to decline, moving into a phase of maturity in which the best contenders will survive. Although between 2011 and 2019 many people renewed mobile phones every year, in 2021 there are already mid-range models that can hold several working perfectly well.
This and other circumstances have meant that in 2020 the sales of smartphones have fallen by 12.5% according to the study carried out by the firm Gartner. Some companies have suffered a great impact on their sales, although for different reasons. Samsung, the main manufacturer, has lost 14.6% of its sales to reach 253 million mobile phones sold due to greater competition from other companies in the Chinese market such as Xiaomi, which has improved its sales by 15.7% to 145 million units for all of 2020.
The case of Huawei is special because it has been harmed by the US trade blockade, which although selling mobile phones in China has not affected it much, it has affected it in the international sector, which has led it to sell its brand of sale online only Honor. Apple’s success story is curious because it would have improved its sales by 3.3% to 199 million units. Along with Huawei’s sales slump, Apple would once again be the second biggest smartphone seller. The iPhone 12 and its variants, including the popular mini version, have made many finally choose to renew their iPhones and has caught the attention of many who switch from Android.
Of course, the downturn could have been worse for the sector had it not been for the fact that the fourth quarter contained the fall of the rest of the year. In Q4 2020, sales only decreased by 5.4%, with 384 million smartphones being sold, 28.5% of the total for the year. Due to the health situation, sales of electronics products have been distributed much more throughout the year instead of concentrating more on the Christmas quarter. It was also a quarter where Xiaomi obtained a year-on-year sales improvement of 33.9%, OPPo of 12.9% and Apple of 14.9%.