Apple Shipped 73 Million iPhones In Its Q1 2020 – But Lost To Huawei Overall

Ramish Zafar
1.5 Billion Active Devices

This is not investment advice. The author has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. has a disclosure and ethics policy.

Cupertino tech giant Apple Inc (NASDAQ:AAPL) reported strong results for its first quarter of the fiscal year 2020 earlier this week. The company beat analyst estimates by posting $91.8 billion in revenue and $22 billion in net income, as its decision to introduce a price cut on the iPhone lineup through the iPhone 11 paid off. Apple's iPhone revenues grew to $56 billion in its first fiscal quarter from $52 billion that the company posted in the year-ago quarter. Now, data from Counterpoint research provides more figures related to this growth and sheds light on the dynamics of the global smartphone market in 2019.

Apple Shipped 72.9 Million iPhones In Q4 2019, Beating Huawei and Samsung Globally

Before we get to the details, you need to keep in mind that what Counterpoint refers to as Q4 2019 equals Apple's first quarter of the fiscal year 2020. With that out of the way, data from the research organization shows that for the months starting in October 2019 and ending in December 2019, Apple led in global smartphone shipments by shipping 72.9 million iPhones. In comparison, Samsung Electronics shipped 70 million smartphones and China's beleaguered Huawei Technologies shipped 56 million mobile phone gadgets.

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This growth was driven by the popularity of Apple's LCD-based iPhone 11, but the data is not clear on shipments attributed to individual models. The 72.9 million iPhone shipments in the calendar year 2019's fourth-quarter mark an 11% year-over-year growth for Apple Inc and will come as a relief for the company's investors and management who have seen it struggle with the iPhone in its recent history.

Apple commanded 18% of the global smartphone market share in Q4 2019, up by the 17% market share the company had in the year-ago quarter. While this growth is a breath of fresh air for the company, it is not surprising given Apple's decision to reduce the entry price for the iPhone. Lower priced gadgets ship larger volumes - a fact evidenced by Samsung Electronics' consistent dominance of the global smartphone market over the year. As opposed to Apple, Samsung has devices covering all price tiers and therefore it is able to ship more volumes. Finally, Huawei's troubles with the United States government have hurt it in 2019's final quarter, as the company's shipments dropped by 3.7 million during the period.

Global smartphone shipments for the calendar year 2019; Counterpoint

Shipment numbers for the full calendar year 2019 paint a different picture. For the calendar year 2019, Apple's smartphone shipments dropped to 196.2 million from the 206.3 million devices that the company had shipped in the previous year. This drop is once again natural as the bulk of Apple's recent iPhone growth is driven by the iPhone 11 which became during the final four months of the year. And despite being in the U.S. government's crosshairs, Huawei grew its smartphone shipments by 33 million over the year and took the spot as the world's second-largest smartphone manufacturer in terms of shipments by beating Apple.

For the calendar year 2019, Huawei shipped 238.5 million devices, exhibiting the strongest growth of all of the world's smartphone manufacturers. As a result, the company commanded 16% of the global market share, following Samsung who shipped one-fifth of the total new smartphones bought and sold globally last year. Overall, the smartphone market declined by 1% in 2019 but grew by 3% in the fourth quarter.

For this year, 5G-based mobile phones are expected to grow in volume. Counterpoint believes that approximately one-fifth (18%) of 2020's smartphone shipments will be represented by 5G gadgets, growing by 17% from 2019. While both Samsung and Huawei have devices that support next-generation cellular networking technology, Apple is yet to introduce such a device. It's widely reported by the company's supply chain that this year's premium iPhones will come featuring 5G connectivity, with Apple also rumored to widen the iPhone net through new launches in this year's first half.

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