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Gartner reports a drop in smartphone sales in 3Q20

A smartphone in different colours

The analyst firm Gartner has reported that smartphone sales in the third quarter totalled 366 million, down 5.7% compared to 3Q19. The firm remains optimistic about the market, explaining that it has begun to show signs of recovery, which mirrors what IDC said last week.

Commenting on the findings, Anshul Gupta, senior research director at Gartner, said:

“Consumers are limiting their discretionary spend even as some lockdown conditions have started to improve. 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.”

During 3Q20, the top five businesses ranked by smartphone market share were Samsung (22%, +2.2%), Huawei (14.1%, -21.3%), Xiaomi (12.1%, +34.9%), Apple (11.1%, -0.6%) and Oppo (8.2%, -2.3%). The quarter saw Xiaomi move ahead of Apple into third position for the first time ever with it selling 44.4 million units compared to Apple’s 40.5 million units.

While Gartner expects a better fourth quarter, the market will continue to see pressure due to economic fears and expectations of another coronavirus wave which will make people less keen to spend on non-essential items such as smartphones. In addition, Gartner said that the delay in 5G network upgrades has limited the opportunities for smartphone vendors.

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