Smartphone sales grew 26% in Q1 2021: Gartner

Global smartphone sales grew 26 per cent in Q1 2021 after a sleep decline during 2020, a new report by Gartner suggests. “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,” Anshul Gupta, senior research director at Gartner said.

“Consumers started spending on discretionary items as the pandemic situation improved in many parts of the world and markets opened up. 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,” Gupta adds.

As per the report, the top three global smartphone vendors maintained their respective positions in the first quarter of 2021. The launch of mid-priced smartphones, such as phones priced under $150 (about Rs 10,920), boosted Samsung’s unit sales globally. The early shipping of its flagship 5G smartphones added to the company’s smartphone sales growth.

Apple moved back into 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,” Gupta said.

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

Brand-wise statistics

Samsung sold 76,611 thousand units, with a market share of 20.3 per cent in Q1 2021, up from 55,332.6 thousand units and a market share of 18.4 per cent last year. Similarly, Apple sold 58,550.8 thousand units with a market share of 15.5 per cent in Q1 2021 compared to 40,920.1 thousand units and a market share of 13.6 per cent last year.

Xiaomi sold 48,938.6 thousand units in Q1 2021 compared to 29,678.4 thousand units last year, with the market share going up from 9.9 per cent to 12.9 per cent.

Vivo and Oppo sold 38,715.2 thousand units and 38,393.2 thousand units respectively, with a market share of 10.2 per cent each. Other brands made up the rest of the numbers with 116,781.7 thousand units sold with a market share of 30.9 per cent.

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