iPhone 12 sales propel Apple to top of smartphone market: survey
The report by market tracker Gartner showed Apple sold some 79.9 million iPhones in the final three months of the year -- a 15 percent surge from a year earlier -- to leapfrog Samsung in sales in a global smartphone market which shrank by some 5.4 percent.
The California giant captured 20.8 percent of the market to take the top spot for the first time since the fourth quarter of 2016, according to Gartner.
The overall market was hurt by global consumer caution, with the declines limited by the introduction of new 5G handsets, Gartner analysts said.
"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."
China-based Xiaomi and Oppo held the third and fourth places with 11.3 and 8.9 percent, respectively.
Huawei, the Chinese firm hammered by sanctions limiting its access to US technology, fell to fifth place with 8.9 percent, according to the survey.
For the full year, the market suffered a hefty 12.5 percent drop as sales dipped to 1.3 billion units, the survey showed. Samsung remained the top seller for the year with an 18.8 percent share, ahead of Apple's 14.8 percent.