Apple Unseats Samsung as World’s Top Smartphone Vendor In Q4; Is Cupertino Priming for a Bumper Quarter?

January 19, 2022Updated: January 19, 2022

Apple Inc. has taken the pole position in global smartphone shipments in the fourth quarter, confirming the current strength of the iPhone cycle.

Apple Reigns Supreme

Cupertino’s share of worldwide smartphone shipments stood at 22 percent in the fourth quarter, according to a preliminary report from Canalys. That’s an increase from the 14 percent market share the iPhone held in the third quarter, and reclaims Apple’s top spot in terms of smartphone shipments after a 3-year hiatus.

Apple’s performance was driven by stellar iPhone 13 shipments, the firm said. “Apple saw unprecedented iPhone performance in Mainland China, with aggressive pricing for its flagship devices keeping the value proposition strong,” Canalys analyst Sanyam Chaurasia noted.

The company was forced to cut production in the quarter due to shortages of key components and could not make enough iPhones to meet demand, the analyst added. In prioritized markets, it maintained adequate delivery times, but in some regions its customers had to wait to get their hands on the latest iPhones, he added.

South Korea’s Samsung had a 20 percent share of the overall market, giving the company the second position. It was a one-percent drop from the third quarter, when Samsung’s market share stood at 21 percent.

Chinese brands took the following three positions. Xiaomi’s market share slipped from 14 percent in the third quarter to 12 percent in the fourth quarter. Oppo and Vivo had market shares of 9 percent and 8 percent, respectively.

Why It’s Important

Apple is scheduled to report the financial results for its holiday quarter on Jan. 27. Analysts, on average, expect the company to report earnings of $1.89 per share on revenues of $118.28 billion, which would mark a record topline number.

Last week, KeyBanc Capital Markets analyst Brandon Nispel said Apple is tracking ahead of hardware expectations in the U.S., while internationally, adoption is increasing due to extremely low penetration, increasing affluence of consumers, and 5G upgrades.

Tigress Financial’s Ivan Feinseth said he believes further upside exists for Apple shares from current levels. The analyst expects Apple to have a record holiday quarter, with its quarterly sales exceeding $120 billion and hitting a new holiday quarter record.

Canalys’ data point appears to corroborate the optimistic expectations among sell-side analysts concerning Apple’s quarterly results.

By Shanthi Rexaline

© 2021 The Epoch Times. The Epoch Times does not provide investment advice. All rights reserved.

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