iPhone sales fall in Q1, but Apple fares better than rivals

Sales of iPhones slumped 8% in Q1 2020, but Apple’s smartphone division held up stronger than its rivals following the outbreak of COVID-19, according to new data shared by global research company Gartner.

Between January and March this year, Apple sold just shy of 41m phones, which was around 3.7m less than the figure for Q1 2019.

Gartner senior research analyst said that the pandemic caused the “worst decline ever” for the global smartphone market, but despite that, Apple fared better during the period compared to other leading manufacturers.

Apple logged an 8% decline in smartphone sales in Q1, while Samsung and Huawei saw 22.7% and 27.3% drop-offs, respectively.

Xiaomi was the only manufacturer to record an increase in sales during Q1.

Gartner noted that supply chain disruptions and lower consumer spending had the biggest impact on iPhone sales.

The downturn followed a very strong start to the year for Apple when the company’s product line-up delivered “strong momentum” around the world.

Gartner research VP Annette Zimmermann added: “If COVID-19 did not happen, the vendor would have likely seen its iPhone sales reached record level in the quarter.”

Zimmermann believes that Apple’s ability to service clients in the digital space and ramp production back up to near-normal capacity in March played a part in recovering at least some of the positive momentum from January.

However, it still had to contend with the closure of all of its stores outside of China.

Gartner’s data shows that Apple had a 13.7% share of the market in Q1, which was less than Huawei (14.2%) and Samsung (18.5%).

However, all of Apple’s sales are in the premium segment, whereas Samsung, the market leader, has stronger sales in the budget and mid-range segment.

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About the author


I've been a passionate evangelist for Apple and the Macintosh throughout my working life, my first love was a Quadra 605 working with a small creative agency in the south of Norfolk UK in the mid 1990's, I later progressed to other roles in other Macintosh dominated industries, first as a Senior graphic designer at a small printing company and then a production manager at Guardian Media Group. As the publishing and printing sector wained I moved into Internet Marketing and in 2006 co-founded which grew to become one the top 200 visited sites in the US (according to Quantcast), at its peak receiving over 15 million visits per month. For the last ten years I have worked as an Affiliate and Consultant to many different business and start ups, my key skill set being online marketing, on page monetisation, landing page optimisation and traffic generation, if you would like to hire me or discuss your current project please reach out to me here.

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