Apple falls to fourth place in global smartphone market

Apple has slipped to No. 4 in the global smartphone rankings after being leapfrogged by Chinese upstart Xiaomi.

The iPhone maker, who had recently trailed only Samsung and Huawei in global market share, has fallen out of the top three, according to sales estimates from research firm Gartner.

Apple’s sales of 40.6 million iPhones in the quarter ending September — before the new iPhone 12 line was released — represented just over 11 percent of the overall smartphone market .

Xiaomi, meanwhile, saw sales jump 35 percent over the quarter, taking a 12 percent chunk of the market with its 44.4 million devices sold.

Samsung kept a firm grip on its first place standing, nearly doubling Apple’s sales with 80.8 million smartphones sold. Despite seeing growth slow by more than 20 percent from last year, Huawei kept its hold on second place.

The new figures showed a reduced appetite for new phones during the pandemic, with sales down 5.7 percent from the same point last year. But Gartner senior research director Anshul Gupta said that some recovery may be on the horizon.

“Consumers are limiting their discretionary spend even as some lockdown conditions have started to improve,” Gupta said. “Global smartphone sales experienced moderate growth from the second quarter of 2020 to the third quarter. This was due to pent-up demand from previous quarters.”

Shares of Apple were up 2.3 percent Tuesday morning, at $121.82.

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