Samsung Galaxy S21 vs. Galaxy S21 UltraSource: Hayato Huseman / Android Central

What you need to know

  • Worldwide smartphone shipments declined 6.7% YoY in Q3 2021.
  • Smartphone vendors shipped 331.2 million units during the July to September period.
  • Samsung was the top smartphone vendor during the quarter, with a 20.8% share of the global market.

The global smartphone market declined 6.7% YoY in the third quarter of the year, according to the latest Worldwide Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker from IDC. A total of 331.2 million smartphones were shipped during the quarter.

The decline in shipments was mainly due to the chip shortage that has been affecting many industries for months. While smartphone makers have also been dealing with shortages for the last few quarters, they weren't severe enough to limit the rate of growth until now. Several leading smartphone vendors were also affected by power supply constraints in China and other manufacturing challenges.

The severity of the impact, however, varied between regions. In Central Eastern Europe, shipments declined 23.2%, while the U.S. suffered a decline of just 0.2%.

Nabila Popal, research director with IDC's Mobility and Consumer Device Trackers, said in a statement:

The supply chain and component shortage issues have finally caught up to the smartphone market, which until now seemed almost immune to this issue despite its adverse impact on many other adjacent industries.

Samsung, which makes some of the best Android phones, held on to its top position with a 20.8% market share. It shipped a total of 69 million phones during the quarter, down 14.2% over the same period last year. Apple was the second largest smartphone vendor in the July to September period and the only one among the top three to witness an increase in shipments over last year. Apple shipped 50.4 iPhones last quarter, up 20.8% over Q3 2020.

Xiaomi, which was the second largest smartphone brand globally in Q2 2021, slipped to the third position in Q3 2021. The Chinese smartphone maker shipped 44.3 million units and held 13.4% of the global market. BBK-owned Vivo and OPPO were tied for fourth place.