Apple (AAPL 1.02%) sold more smartphone units than any other manufacturer in 2020, according to the latest report from Gartner. It marked the first time that the company had outsold Samsung in the category since 2016, and it also gained market share against other leading manufacturers, including Xiaomi (XIACF -1.46%) and Huawei.

On a sales basis, the biggest loser in the quarter was Huawei, which suffered a 41% year-over-year revenue decline due to sanctions the Chinese hardware company faced in the U.S.

Apple launched its iPhone 12, iPhone 12 Pro, and iPhone 12 Pro Max in October and then released the iPhone 12 mini in November. Performance for the tech giant's latest handset generation has been very strong so far. Gartner estimates that the company sold nearly 80 million units across these product lines in the fourth quarter of 2020. 

Apple iPhone 12 Pro and 12 Pro Max.

The iPhone 12 Pro and Pro Max. Image source: Apple.

The iPhone 12 family are the first phones from the company to feature support for 5G, and it looks like interest in the next-generation network technology and features such as improved camera technology are generating plenty of consumer interest. Gartner estimates that sales momentum from 5G will continue through the first quarter of this year and beyond. 

With 5G support and new technologies including augmented reality likely to drive a strong upgrade cycle in mobile hardware, Apple looks primed for impressive performance. The company has also been making inroads in other hardware categories. AirPods have been putting up great sales, and recent reports suggest that the company will make a big play in the autonomous vehicle space. It's fair to say that Apple has never looked stronger.