Ahead of new iPhones, Q3 smartphone sales down 5.7% to 366M – Gartner

New numbers from Gartner point to some recovery for the smartphone market. Q3 smartphone figures published today showed that smartphone unit sales declined 5.7% globally over the same period last year to 366 million units, a clear improvement on the 20% sales slump for each of the year’s previous quarters.

Left to right: Apple's 5.4-inch iPhone 12 mini, 6.1-inch iPhone 12, 6.1-inch iPhone 12 Pro, and 6.7-inch iPhone 12 Pro Max
Left to right: Apple’s 5.4-inch iPhone 12 mini, 6.1-inch iPhone 12, 6.1-inch iPhone 12 Pro, and 6.7-inch iPhone 12 Pro Max

Ingrid Lunden for TechCrunch:

Samsung continued to lead the pack in terms of overall units, with 80.8 million units, and a 22% market share… Xiaomi’s numbers were strong enough to see it overtake Apple for the quarter to become the number-three slot in terms of overall sales rankings. Huawei just about held on to number two.

It will be interesting to see how Apple’s small decline of 0.6% to 40.6 million units to Xiaomi’s 44.4 million, will shift in the next quarter, on the back of the company launching a new raft of iPhone 12 devices.

“Apple sold 40.5 million units in the third quarter of 2020, a decline of 0.6% as compared to 2019,” said Annette Zimmermann, research vice president at Gartner, in a statement. “The slight decrease was mainly due to Apple’s delayed shipment start of its new 2020 iPhone generation, which in previous years would always start mid/end September. This year, the launch event and shipment start began 4 weeks later than usual.”

MacDailyNews Take: Here are Gartner’s Q3 smartphone sales numbers:

Source: Gartner (November 2020)
Source: Gartner (November 2020)


  1. Do we still care about this if net profit is growing ? Gartner is just guesstimating as Apple has not released iPhone numbers for years. They could have sold millions more or less than Gartner’s guesses, and would not be possible to differentiate with other lines of sales and rapidly growing services, and that Apple now sells so many directly to consumers.

Reader Feedback

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.