iPhone 11 threatens to steal Samsung’s smartphone crown


iPhone 11 has been good for business.
Photo: Apple

The iPhone may always be No. 1 in the minds and hearts of its users. Samsung, though, always had the shipment numbers to claim its smartphones made it the world’s best-selling brand.

Then the iPhone 11 lineup showed up. Now market research shows Apple has currently surpassed Samsung or, at the very least, is tied as the smartphone brand king.

A Bloomberg report Thursday morning featured two market studies, one showing Apple shipping more iPhones than Samsung in the fourth quarter (70.7 million units to 68.8 million as estimated by Strategy Analytics) and another study by IHS Market that flips those numbers.

Since Apple stopped disclosing iPhone shipment numbers last year, the studies are only estimates, “But the consensus is that there is essentially no longer any daylight between the two dominant brands in smartphones,” Bloomberg wrote.

The record $91.8 billion in revenue Apple reported this week for the holiday quarterly was largely sparked by heavy demand for the iPhone 11 handsets.

Huawei, according to the studies, shipped about 56 million smartphones, a respectable fourth-quarter considering its products are banned in the U.S.

If there’s celebration in Cupertino today, it will be tempered by worries of the coronavirus outbreak in China, where the lion’s share of iPhones is made. For now, the deadly virus is most concentrated in Wuhan, far from the components suppliers and assembly factories.

But China and world health leaders are bracing for the virus to spread, which some analysts already fear a worst-case scenario that could hold up production this year and into 2021.

Apple is said to be ramping up production this quarter on a number of new products, including a budget-friendly iPhone.

Source: Bloomberg via South Morning China Post