Apple becomes the world’s No.1 smartphone maker

Apple is again the world’s No.1 smartphone maker. According to the latest research from Strategy Analytics, global smartphone shipments held steady at zero growth to reach 375 million units in the fourth quarter of 2019. Apple grabbed first position with 19 percent global smartphone market share, Samsung claimed second position, while Huawei dipped to 15 percent share in third place. Full-year smartphone shipments totaled 1.4 billion units in 2019.

Apple becomes the world's No.1 smartphone maker - image: iPhone 11 Pro
The Apple-designed A13 Bionic that powers iPhone 11, iPhone 11 Pro, and iPhone 11 Pro Max sets a new bar for smartphone performance and power efficiency.

Linda Sui, Director at Strategy Analytics, said, “Global smartphone shipments grew zero percent annually from 376.0 million units in Q4 2018 to 374.5 million in Q4 2019. Worldwide smartphone demand remains mixed for now, with sharp declines in China balanced by strong growth across India and Africa. Full-year smartphone shipments hit 1.41 billion in 2019, dipping 1 percent from 1.43 billion in 2018, due to mild inventory build in the second half of the year. Looking ahead, U.S. trade wars and the China coronavirus scare will be among barriers to growth for smartphones in 2020.”

Neil Mawston, Executive Director at Strategy Analytics, added, “Apple iPhone shipments rose 7 percent annually from 65.9 million units worldwide in Q4 2018 to 70.7 million in Q4 2019. This was Apple’s best growth performance since 2015. Apple’s global smartphone marketshare has lifted from 18 percent to 19 percent in the past year. Apple is recovering, due to cheaper iPhone 11 pricing and healthier demand in Asia and North America. Samsung shipped 68.8 million smartphones worldwide in Q4 2019, dipping 1 percent annually from 69.3 million in Q4 2018. Samsung’s global marketshare stayed flat at 18 percent, the same level as a year ago.”

Woody Oh, Director at Strategy Analytics, added, “Huawei shipped 56.0 million smartphones worldwide in Q4 2019, sliding 7 percent annually from 60.5 million in Q4 2018. Huawei’s global marketshare has dipped from 16 percent to 15 percent in the past year. Despite strong 5G sales, Huawei is slowing at home in China and facing tougher competition abroad in key markets like Europe.”

Linda Sui, Director at Strategy Analytics, added, “Xiaomi maintained fourth place, capturing 9 percent global smartphone marketshare in Q4 2019, up strongly from just 7 percent a year ago. Xiaomi had a great quarter in Western Europe and held steady in its biggest market India. Xiaomi is pushing hard into the 5G smartphone category and this will be a solid growth area for the vendor in 2020. OPPO held fifth position with 8 percent global smartphone marketshare during Q4 2019, staying at the same level from a year ago. OPPO is expanding hard into Western Europe, with new models like the Reno 5G, but it remains under persistent pressure from giant Huawei at home in China.”

Global Smartphone Vendor Shipments and Marketshare in Q4 2019

MacDailyNews Take: Apple is the world’s No.1 smartphone maker and they don’t sell low-end junk in order to pad unit sales numbers like all of the rest of the iPhone knockoff Android peddlers. That Apple achieved this with only premium iPhones is extremely impressive. The popularity of the iPhone 11 family continues to astound!


  1. I think as long as Apple prices their iPhones reasonably, they have a chance of selling plenty of them in all parts of the world. However, other companies will happily lose money to sell their smartphones in order to maintain market share. Apple will always have plenty of lower-cost competition. Wall Street will always be unhappy about low iPhone market share percentage and the increased length of time of how long consumers hold on to their iPhones. I’m just happy with the iPhone’s growing installed base but I’m probably in the minority as an Apple investor.

  2. Changing the naming scheme of the latest-gen’s budget option to “11” from last year’s “XR” was a masterful marketing move. When the 11 series was revealed, I thought the “11” was a replacement for the XS and impressed by how cheap it was. It wasn’t until a few minutes later in the presentation that I realized the much pricier “11 Pro” was the real successor to the XS, with OLED screen and 2x optical zoom lens.

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