IDC: Huawei overtakes Samsung to become no.1 global smartphone vendor in Q2 2020

Smartphone makers experienced a challenging second quarter in 2020 due to the lingering effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. According to research data from, a total of 294.7 million phones were sold as compared to 370.3 million phones sold during the same period in 2019. That equates to a drop of 20.4%.

But who were the top smartphone makers during the period? According to IDC, Huawei has knocked Samsung off from its number one position in Q2 to become the top global smartphone vendor. Looking at the numbers, Huawei (20%) edged Samsung (19.5%) out by a slim margin of just 0.5%.

Meanwhile, Apple settled in third place with 13.5%. The rest of the top brands consisted of Xiaomi at 10.2% and Oppo at 8.6%.

It is worth noting that Realme was the only brand to record double-digit growth with 11% over Q2 of last year. Below is a complete chart chronicling the changes in global smartphone market share from 2009 to 2020.

But if we were to peel back the numbers, it appears that Samsung had the biggest decline despite selling the highest number of phones. In Q2 2020, the South Korean company sold 54.7 million units which was 27.1% less year-on-year compared to 75.1 million units sold during the same period last year.

Data suggests that this is primarily due to its core markets in the US, India, Europe and Latin America, all of which are struggling from the effects of COVID-19.

Compared to Samsung, Huawei also saw a smaller drop of 6.8% where it sold 54.1 million units in Q2 2020 compared to 58 million in Q2 2019. Huawei’s strong performance can be attributed to its aggressive sales efforts in its domestic market in China that helped it reach the top spot despite crippling U.S. sanctions.

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Third placeholder Apple saw the least decline during the period as 38.3 million iPhones were sold in Q2 2020 compared to 38.5 million units in Q2 2019. That’s just a drop of 0.4%. Research house Gartner attributes this to its improved business in China.

Which were the best-selling phones of Q1 2020?

Apple’s iPhone 11 was the top-selling smartphone globally in the first half of 2020 with sales reaching 37.7 million units, according to a report from Omdia.

This was followed by Samsung’s Galaxy A51 which sold 11.4 million units. Meanwhile, Xiaomi’s Redmi Note 8 and Note 8 Pro sold 11 and 10.2 million respectively. Apple’s budget friendly iPhone SE took the fifth position with 8.7 million units sold.

The Cupertino company dominated the top 10 chart with five models – the iPhone XR, iPhone 11, iPhone SE, iPhone 11 Pro Max and iPhone 11 Pro. This was compared to just three models back in Q1 2019 – iPhone 11, iPhone XR and iPhone 11 Pro.

Unfortunately for Samsung, its Galaxy A51 was the only Samsung model that made it to the top 10 list. This in stark contrast to its performance in the same period when Samsung had five models in the top 10 – Galaxy A10, A50, A5, J2 Core and A30.

Apart from Apple, Xiaomi also saw significant gains in Q1 2020 as took four spots when it previously only had two entries last year.


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