Global smartphone sales jumped 24% in Q1 2021, led by affordable 5G phones

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What you need to know

  • Global smartphone shipments increased 24% YoY in the first quarter of 2021.
  • Samsung was the biggest smartphone vendor globally in Q1 2021, with a market share of 23%.
  • Huawei, which held the number two spot during the same period last year, slipped out of the top five.

The global smartphone market grew 24% YoY in the first quarter of the year, according to the latest research from Strategy Analytics. While nearly all major smartphone makers saw strong growth during the January to March period, Huawei dropped out of the top five.

Huawei had surpassed Samsung as the top smartphone maker in the second quarter of 2020, thanks to strong performance in its home market. Since then, however, the company has been losing market share in pretty much all markets — including China.

Sa Global Smartphone Marker Q1

Source: Strategy Analytics (Image credit: Source: Strategy Analytics)

Linda Sui, Senior Director at Strategy Analytics, said in a statement:

The China smartphone market had a sensational quarter driven by 5G product success across multiple price tiers. China smartphone shipments were up +35% YoY reaching 94 million units in Q1 2021. Globally, the top five vendors combined took a 76% market share in Q1 2021, up from 71% one year ago. Chip shortages and supply side constraints did not have a significant impact in Q1 among the top 5 brands but was and will be a concern for smaller vendors over the next few quarters in our view.

Samsung remained the world's largest smartphone vendor in Q1 2021, with a market share of 23%. Its latest Galaxy S21 series and 5G-enabled Galaxy A series phones proved to be quite popular among consumers and helped the company achieve a strong 32% YoY growth. Apple held the second spot with 17% market share and 44% YoY growth.

Chinese smartphone maker Xiaomi saw the biggest year-on-year growth among all major Android OEMs at 80%. It shipped 49 million phones in Q1 2021, up from 28 million in the first quarter of 2020. The massive growth certainly doesn't come as a surprise, as the company makes some of the best cheap Android phones. Rounding out the top five were BBK-owned OPPO and Vivo, both of which held 11% of the global smartphone market.

Babu Mohan
News Writer