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Global smartphone sales grew 26% in Q1 2021

Global smartphone sales to end users grew 26 per cent in the first quarter of 2021, after a steep decline in 2020, according to Gartner Inc. The worldwide mobile phone sales to end users grew 22 per cent year-over-year.

“The improvement in consumer outlook, sustained learning and working from home, along with pent-up demand from 2020 boosted sales of smartphones in the first quarter. Consumers started spending on discretionary items as the pandemic situation improved in many parts of the world and markets opened up,” said Anshul Gupta, senior research director at Gartner.

“However, one cannot ignore that the base for comparison is also lower in 2020, than it was in 2019. This explains the double-digit growth,” added Gupta.

The top three global smartphone vendors maintained their respective positions in the first quarter of 2021. Samsung topped the list with an 20.3 per cent market share in Q1 2021, followed by Apple with a 15.5 per cent market share.

Samsung’s unit sales globally were driven by the launch of mid-priced smartphones, such as phones priced under $150. The early shipping of its flagship 5G smartphones also positively impacted its smartphone sales growth.

Apple slipped back to the second position in the first quarter of 2021, after securing the top spot in the fourth quarter of 2020. The launch of its first ever 5G iPhone led to continued demand in 2021.

“5G will continue to be the major growth driver for Apple in 2021. Device upgrades will fuel demand for Apple’s flagship phone throughout the year,” said Gupta.

Xiaomi placed third with a 12.9 per cent market share. Vivo and Oppo each held a 10.2 per cent market share.

“All of the top five global smartphone vendors registered strong year over year growth over 2020 indicating that the phone market is consolidating around the top five vendors,” Gartner said.

Chinese smartphone vendors Xiaomi, Oppo and Vivo witnessed growing demand for 5G smartphones and capitalised on the opportunities due to weakening sales of Huawei and LG globally during the quarter.

The smartphone industry has not yet been impacted by the global chip shortage as the demand and supply equilibrium is met. However, this may change in the coming quarters leading to an increase in the average selling price of smartphones globally. The Hindu BusinessLine

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