For the year, Samsung is still No. 1.
From Gartner’s “Gartner Says Worldwide Smartphone Sales Declined 5% in Fourth Quarter of 2020” posted Monday:
Global sales of smartphones to end users declined 5.4% in the fourth quarter of 2020, according to Gartner, Inc. Smartphone sales declined 12.5% in full year 2020.
“The sales of more 5G smartphones and lower-to-mid-tier smartphones minimized the market decline in the fourth quarter of 2020,” said Anshul Gupta, senior research director at Gartner. “Even as consumers remained cautious in their spending and held off on some discretionary purchases, 5G smartphones and pro-camera features encouraged some end users to purchase new smartphones or upgrade their current smartphones in the quarter.”
The launch of the 5G iPhone 12 series helped Apple record double-digit growth in the fourth quarter of 2020. Apple surpassed Samsung to retake the No. 1 global smartphone vendor spot (see Table 1). The last time Apple was the top smartphone vendor was in the fourth quarter for 2016.
Full Year 2020 Results: Samsung experienced a year-on-year decline of 14.6% in 2020, but this did not prevent it from retaining its No. 1 global smartphone vendor position in full year results.
My take: Given the gross mistakes Gartner and IDC have published in the past, I assume the line about rounding errors is meant as a joke.
See, for example, Mac sales up 9.6% worldwide, says IDC. Down 0.2%, says Gartner