This Smartphone Brand Beats Apple, Xiaomi To Grab #1 Position In Global Smartphone Sales


Samsung currently rules the global smartphone market, taking 23% of its share of the pie. 

Samsung is now the leader of the smartphone industry having shipped 77 million smartphones globally with a Year-on-Year (YoY) growth of +32%.

It is a jump from 56 million units that it had shipped in Q1 2020.

In the first quarter of 2021, 340 million units of smartphones (from all vendors) were shipped worldwide, registering a significant rise of 24% from 2020. 

Secret To Samsung’s Success

Samsung currently rules the global smartphone market, taking 23% of its share of the pie. 

That is a 3% increase from its 20% market share that it enjoyed the previous year.

Samsung’s success can be attributed to the cost appeal of its high-end phones. 

Its flagship device, the S21, was priced surprisingly lower than its predecessor the S20-  a whopping $200 lower. 

The launch of its Apple Air Pods rival, the Galaxy Buds, also found popularity and acceptance among consumers. 

The Others In The Top 5

A Strategy Analytics report said that the top 5 global smartphone vendors cumulatively grabbed 76% market share in the first quarter of this year. 

Here is the breakup of the 340 million (mn) units sold worldwide-

  • Samsung- 77 mn units; 23% market share
  • Apple- 57 mn units; 17% 
  • Xiaomi- 49 mn units; 15% 
  • OPPO- 38 mn units; 11%
  • Vivo- 37 mn units; 11%
  • Others- 82 mn units

Xiaomi maintained its strong presence in India and China. It is also reaping rewards of expansion in the Europe, Latin America and Africa regions.

OPPO now bears the status of being the world’s 4th largest smartphone maker- not including Realme and OnePlus.

Vivo registered the highest YoY increase of 85% when it nearly doubled its sales from 20 mn units in 2020 to 37 mn units in Q1 2021.

Where Is Apple?

Apple trailed Samsung, capturing 17% of volume market share and the 2nd position, having shipped 57 million iPhones worldwide. 

It owes its success to its 5G iPhone 12 series launch. 

Global Chip Shortage And Impact

The flourishing smartphone industry was impacted by a worldwide semiconductor shortage. 

This could have happened because of an incredible rise in demand for smart electronics and gadgets since a major chunk of the global population were confined to their homes. 

There was certainly an increase in demand in home electronics and computers since a majority of the global workforce shifted their office spaces to their homes. 

However, these constraints did not deter the top 5 brands much. But the smaller vendors will have to bear the brunt of it over the next few quarters.

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