Smartphone Sales Rose by 26% in Q1 2021, Samsung Takes Top Spot: Gartner Report

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On Monday, Anshul Gupta, the senior research director at Gartner stated that smartphone sales grew by 26 per cent in Q1 2021 after a steep decline during the year 2020-21 as per a report by the research company. The improvement in terms of consumer outlook sustained learning and working from home coupled with pent-up demand from 2020 boosted sales of smartphones in the first quarter as per Mr Gupta.

He added that consumers started spending on additional or discretionary items as the pandemic situation improved in multiple parts of the world and markets opened up. Do note that one cannot ignore that the base for comparison is also lower in 2020 than it was in the previous year of 2019, thus explaining the double-digit growth.

According to the report, the top three global smartphone sellers have maintained their respective positions in the first quarter or Q1 of 2021. The launch of mid-segment smartphones, such as phones priced under the barrier of $150 or approximately 10,920 boosted Korean giant Samsung’s unit sales globally. The early shipping of 5G smartphones, especially the flagships added to the company’s smartphone sales growth.

What Does The Data Reveal?


In terms of the data, Apple shifted back into the second position in the first quarter of 2021, after getting the top spot in the fourth quarter of 2020. The launch of the Cupertino giant's first 5G iPhone series led to increased demand in 2021. Mr Gupta said that 5G will continue to be the major growth driver for Apple in 2021, with device upgrades fueling demand for Apple’s flagship phone throughout the year.

The top five smartphone vendors on a global scale registered strong YoY growth in 2020 hinting that the phone market is focused around the top five vendors. Chinese smartphone vendors such as Oppo, Vivo and Xiaomi saw a growing demand for 5G smartphones and used the opportunities due to lower sales of Huawei and LG globally in this quarter due to the US trade ban and lack of competitive products.

When it comes to raw numbers, Samsung sold 76,611 thousand units with a market share of 20.3% in Q1 of 2021, higher than the 55,332.6 thousand units and market share of 18.4 per cent in 2020. Like this, Apple was able to sell 58,550.8 thousand units and garner a market share of 15.5% in Q1 2021 in comparison to 40,920.1 thousand units and a market share of 13.6% in 2020.

Xiaomi was able to sell 48,938.6 thousand units in Q1 2021, quite higher than the previously recorded  29,678.4 thousand units in 2020 with the market share rising from 9.9% to 12.9%. Furthermore, the likes of Vivo and Oppo sold 38,715.2 thousand units and 38,393 thousand units respectively, with a market share of 10.2% each.

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Shloke is your go-to guy when it comes to consumer tech. Specializing in In-Depth pieces, he's also getting to grips with Telecom. His hobbies consist of Formula One and Gaming.

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