In the last quarter of 2020, for the first time since 2012 when Samsung took over the top spot from Nokia, Apple sold more smartphones in a quarter than Samsung.
Well, Samsung is back in its top spot after 2021 first quarter’s stellar performance.
According to research firm, Counterpoint, global smartphone shipments rose 20% YoY in Q1, 2021 to 354 million units with revenue reaching $113 billion, the highest in Q1 of any year. Now that’s a lot of phones. For context, an estimated 700m smartphones were sold in 2012.
Here’s how the top smartphones performed
Samsung shipped 76.8 million units in the first three months of 2021. Thanks to the new Samsung Galaxy S21 series the company’s shipments increased to beat Apple, reclaiming its top spot. The Galaxy S21 series was launched earlier than usual this year as the company hoped to gobble up market share from troubled Chinese tech company Huawei.
Apple came in second, mainly supported by last year’s launch of the iPhone 12 series. Strong demand for the iPhone helped the company post a record first-quarter market share in several markets, including China, India, Japan, and the US.
Others: Chinese smartphone makers Xiaomi, OPPO, and Vivo ranked third, fourth, and fifth consecutively. The three Chinese OEMs had a terrific performance in the period, gaining record market shares in markets like China, Europe, Latin America, and South Asia as they sought to fill the gap left by Huawei.
Shortage of chips
Despite the ongoing global shortage of computer chips, the top five smartphone OEMs still recorded stellar performances.
Why so? Counterpoint says supply chains prioritized the big five, which gave them an advantage. But this might soon come at a cost, as the shortages will push specific component prices up.
The companies affected by this could absorb the cost increase by being creative with other materials or simply pass the added costs to the consumers.