Apple second to Samsung in smartphone production in record-low 2020

Iphone Factory China
Iphone Factory China (Image credit: Apple)

What you need to know

  • Apple was the second-biggest producer of smartphones behind Samsung in 2020.
  • 2020 saw a record-breaking fall in manufacturing due to the pandemic.

A new report says that Apple was the second-biggest producer of smartphones such as the iPhone 12 in 2020 behind Samsung, in a year that saw a record-breaking fall in production.

From TrendForce:

Owing to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, global smartphone production reached a mere 1.25 billion units in 2020, a record-breaking 11% YoY decrease, according to TrendForce's latest investigations. The top six smartphone brands ranked by production volume for 2020, in order, are Samsung, Apple, Huawei, Xiaomi, OPPO, and Vivo. The most glaring change from the previous year is Huawei's market share.

TrendForces says the global smartphone market will "gradually recover" in 2021 as people adjust to the "new normals" of the pandemic, and that it further expects a "relatively strong wave of device replacement demand" and growth in emerging markets. As such, it expects 2021 smartphone production to increase by 9% to 1.36 billion units, not quite enough to reverse 2020's decline, but a fair step on the road to recovery.

Regarding Apple, TrendForce says that as in 2020, 2021 will see the company remain the second-largest producer of smartphones behind Samsung. The only change to the top six, according to the research, says that Huawei will drop out of the top ranks to be replaced by Transsion. These 6 will account for some 80% of the world's global smartphone market.

Research from TF suggests Apple produced some 199 million devices in 2020, capturing 31% of the market share. Pushing it just ahead of Huawei's 30% share globally.

The news reflects reports that just two weeks after launch the iPhone 12 was the number one 5G smartphone in the world.

Stephen Warwick
News Editor

Stephen Warwick has written about Apple for five years at iMore and previously elsewhere. He covers all of iMore's latest breaking news regarding all of Apple's products and services, both hardware and software. Stephen has interviewed industry experts in a range of fields including finance, litigation, security, and more. He also specializes in curating and reviewing audio hardware and has experience beyond journalism in sound engineering, production, and design.

Before becoming a writer Stephen studied Ancient History at University and also worked at Apple for more than two years. Stephen is also a host on the iMore show, a weekly podcast recorded live that discusses the latest in breaking Apple news, as well as featuring fun trivia about all things Apple. Follow him on Twitter @stephenwarwick9