The smartphone competition is the survival of the fittest. Only some can thrive, keeping out the rest from ever gaining good gains.
And this third quarter of 2020, Samsung is again back on top as the world’s biggest smartphone vendor after one quarter losing its spot to Chinese smartphone vendor Huawei, according to a report from IDC.
The news comes just as Samsung posted its highest quarterly revenue figures ever, which the company said was helped by a boost in demand for smartphones.
The main reasons the Korean vendor succeeded, was because it performed strongly in India, one of largest market for smartphones.
Another reason is how Samsung has been launching low and midrange products while also offering discounts, which have been driving up its sales.
“In the U.S., Samsung's second largest market, momentum was strong for the A series with good performances from the Note 20 and Note 20 Ultra as well, which contributed to almost 20 percent of total volume in 3Q20,” IDC noted.
Huawei was the number one vendor for the first time three months ago, benefiting from strong sales in China.
This happened at the time when most of the world was under constrained retail conditions due to the 'COVID-19' coronavirus pandemic. But in the third quarter, Huawei’s shipments fell 7% quarter-on-quarter and 24% year-on-year, according to the report.
Meanwhile, Samsung managed to increase its shipments by 47% over the same period.
Third place, is Xiaomi.
The smartphone vendor that is also from China, was able to regain the number three spot for the first time in several years, overtaking the U.S. company Apple with a year-on-year growth of 46%.
Because of this, Apple fell to number four, as its shipments fell 7% year-on-year in the July-September 2020 quarter.
As for fifth, sixth, and seventh spots go to BBK brands Oppo, Vivo, and Realme.
What the report is showing is that, the quarter has been an interesting one, considering that Samsung has overtaken Huawei to once again to become the world's top smartphone maker. And Xiaomi has overtaken Apple for the first time to become third.
The switch however, isn't particularly surprising, given that the U.S. trade ban has prohibited American companies from doing business with Chinese companies, particularly Huawei.
“The market decline was expected,” said Canalys Analyst Mo Jia in a statement. “Huawei was forced to restrict its smartphone shipments following the 17 August U.S. sanctions which caused a void in channels in Q3 that its peers were not equipped to fill."
“If the position of the U.S. administration does not change, Huawei will attempt to pivot its business strategy, to focus on building the Hongmeng (Harmony) OS and software ecosystem,” he added.
IDC said that Samsung shipped 80.4 million smartphones in the third quarter of 2020, capturing a 22.7% market share.
Huawei shipped 51.9 million smartphones, representing a 14.7% share. This is a massive of 22% drop compared to the same period last year.
Xiaomi on the other hand, shipped 46.5 million smartphones with a 13.1% market share.
Apple shipped 41.6 million phones in the third quarter, giving it a 11.8% share. And finally, Vivo shipped 31.5 million units, which gave the company a 8.9% market share.
It's been a tough quarter in many ways, for all of the smartphone companies, especially since the coronavirus pandemic is negatively affecting manufacturing, as well as sales all over the world.
Apple for example, delayed its flagship iPhone 12 Pro Max.
But still, this third quarter is an improvement in overall shipments, as shipments dropped just 1.3% year-over-year, IDC said. A total of 353.6 million smartphones were shipped during the quarter.
Although the market declined, it performed better than IDC's former prediction that there would be a 9% year-over-year decline.
"This is largely attributed to the re-opening of economies around the globe as COVID-19 restrictions were gradually relaxed," the analyst said in a release.