Samsung Shipped the Most Smartphones Globally in Q1 2021, Huawei No Longer Among Top Five: Strategy Analytics


Samsung saw the most smartphone shipments globally during the first quarter of this year. Global smartphone shipments were at 340 million units in Q1 2021, the latest report by Strategy Analytics suggests. Shipments were up by 24 percent year-on-year (YoY), representing the highest growth since 2015. This could largely be due to increase in remote working and online education that helped boost smartphone sales. Samsung was the top performing smartphone manufacturer with 23 percent market share in Q1 2021. Huawei wasn’t able to cut into the top five global smartphone shipments, with Oppo and Vivo coming in at fourth and fifth positions, respectively.

The latest Strategy Analytics report suggests that Samsung remains the largest vendor, shipping 77 million smartphones globally in the first quarter, growing by 32 percent YoY from 58 million units in Q1 2020. The increase in sales was attributed to the new affordable Galaxy A-series 4G and 5G phones, and the earlier launched Samsung Galaxy S21 series. Apple came in second by shipping 57 million iPhone units worldwide, capturing 17 percent volume market share.

Xiaomi saw a rise in global smartphone shipments in Q1 2021 and held the third place in terms of volume of smartphones shipped, the report stated. It shipped 49 million smartphones globally and took a 15 percent market share in Q1 2021, up from 10 percent a year ago. This is due to the brand’s strong performance in India and China, and its expansion to other regions like Africa, Europe, and Latin America.

Huawei was not a part of the top five global smartphone shipments in Q1 2021. Oppo and Vivo took the fourth and fifth place, respectively, with 11 percent market share each. Oppo shipped 38 million units in the first quarter of this year, whereas Vivo shipped 37 million smartphones, Strategy Analytics reports. Vivo gained a lot last year and grew an impressive 85 percent YoY in Q1 2021.

Globally, the top five vendors combined took a 76 percent market share in Q1 2021, up from 71 percent one year ago. Linda Sui, Senior Director, Strategy Analytics said, “The China smartphone market had a sensational quarter driven by 5G product success across multiple price tiers. China smartphone shipments were up +35 percent YoY reaching 94 million units in Q1 2021. Chip shortages and supply side constraints did not have a significant impact in Q1 among the top five brands but was and will be a concern for smaller vendors over the next few quarters in our view.”

Why did LG give up on its smartphone business? We discussed this on Orbital, the Gadgets 360 podcast. Later (starting at 22:00), we talk about the new co-op RPG shooter Outriders. Orbital is available on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify, and wherever you get your podcasts.


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