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Samsung is number 1 again, Xiaomi overtakes Apple

The last few years had accustomed us to a traditional podium which was the same every quarter. In the smartphone market, the first places were respectively occupied by Samsung, Huawei and Apple. However, the numbers are in and according to reports, it’s Samsung, Huawei, and Xiaomi that placed top three in the last quarter.


Last quarter, Huawei had effectively moved up to first place, while Samsung was second and Apple was third. In the third quarter of 2020, Samsung regains first place and drops its Chinese competitor by one rank. On the other hand, it is no longer Apple which occupies the third place over the period, it is … Xiaomi.

In terms of sales volumes, Samsung shipped 80.2 million smartphones in the third quarter, compared to 51.7 million for Huawei — a decline of 23% year on year, and 47.1 million for Xiaomi. For the latter, this represents a significant increase of 45% in one year. Apple for its part reached 43.2 million smartphones shipped over the period.

At the origin of the report, the research firm Canalys points to the tensions between Huawei and the United States. The Trump administration has imposed numerous sanctions on the Chinese brand, depriving their smartphones of all of Google’s services. Since the start of the year, the brand is also no longer able to use the premium Kirin processors. As a result, the impact on sales has been significant, especially in markets that support popular applications offered by the American company.

Xiaomi is benefiting from the drop in Huawei sales. While the brand was not well known outside of China a few years ago, it has made a name for itself by offering smartphones that remain affordable without compromising on the quality. In consequence, the manufacturer now occupies a prominent place on the global market.


As for Apple, its share got decreased by 7% over the July-September period, which can be explained, among other things, by the delayed release of its smartphones in October and November. Indeed, usually the firm announces its new products at the beginning of September, leading to a huge increase in sales.

However, it can be assumed that Apple sales will increase in the next quarter and beyond due to the release of the four new iPhone 12. At the moment, only two models are available on the market while the others will be on sale starting November 13.

Source: Canalys, Counterpoint