Apple iPhone 12 Pro Max camerasSource: Apple

What you need to know

  • Apple enjoyed a "spectacular" iPhone 12 launch which gave it a record 30% market share in Europe in Q4.
  • The market in Europe as a whole shrunk over the year, as did Apple's sales in 2020.

A "spectacular" iPhone 12 launch helped Apple secure 30% of the market share in Europe during Q4, as the company shipped some 15.7 million iPhones.

From Counterpoint Research:

Apple may have declined slightly in 2020, but this doesn't tell the full story. The decision to delay the launch of the iPhone 12 appears to have paid off, for two reasons. First, it gave the iPhone 11 and iPhone SE the opportunity to demonstrate remarkable longevity, selling continuously well in many markets throughout the year. And second, it built up demand for the new device which, when finally launched in October, sold spectacularly. In fact, the iPhone 12 was Apple's most successful device launch to date, and drove Apple to a record share high of 30% in Q4 2020.

Xiaomi and Oppo also had strong years in Europe, but Counterpoint says it was a year to forget for Samsung and Huawei.

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A theme of global success, the iPhone 12 reportedly helped Apple dominate the smartphone market in Japan in the same quarter, increasing shipments by 14% and securing more than 50% of the market share. From that report:

A new report says the iPhone 12 helped Apple snag more than 50% of the smartphone market in Japan in Q4 of 2020.

From new IDC research:

In the fourth quarter of 2020, total shipments of mobile phones in the domestic market increased 10.6% year-on-year to 11.432 million units. The reason for this increase is that Apple's shipments, mainly new models compatible with 5G, increased by 13.8% year-on-year to 6.015 million units, and many Android products also shipped in the middle to low price range. As a result, the number of units increased by 6.5% from the same period of the previous year to 5,286,000 units.

According to the figures, Apple was the top vendor with a 52.6% share, followed by Sharp (12.4%), Kyocera (7.0%), and Samsung (6.8%).

Over the full year, shipments in the country rose by nearly 6 percent, with Apple taking a slightly less generous, but still leading share of 46.5%.