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Apple beats Samsung in phone sales for first time since 2016

Apple beat out Samsung to become the world’s leading seller of smartphones in the fourth quarter of 2020, according to a new data report by research firm Gartner. Samsung had been the top smartphone maker since the same quarter in 2016.

Gartner estimates that Apple sold 79.94 million during the quarter, while Samsung managed to sell 62.17 million. Sales were driven by the introduction of the new iPhone 12 lineup, which generally sold better than the previous year’s iPhone updates. Apple sold 69.6 million iPhones in the fourth quarter of 2019. Samsung did not release new flagship phones that quarter.

However, that victory for Apple happened amid a general decline of the smartphone market. Overall smartphone sales declined 12.5 percent in 2020 and by 5.4 percent in the fourth quarter.

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