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Smartphone sales increase 27% in the first quarter of 2021

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We already know that some sales markets have already had better days, not only because of the pandemic, but also due to the lack of processors that is plaguing the entire market. Smartphones have not been overly out of stock, but there are always constraints. Fortunately for brands, compared to last year, there is a clear improvement.

More than 347 million smartphones were shipped in the first quarter, according to Canalys’ global smartphone analysis report, with the number representing a 27% increase over the same period last year, with great emphasis on all Top 5 manufacturers.

Samsung is once again the outstanding leader with 76.5 million shipments and a 22% market share. Apple comes in second place, with 52.4 million sales, maintaining 15% of the market, with the highlight being Xiaomi, which completes the top three positions with its own quarterly record of 49 million sales and a 14% market share, just 1% behind Apple. In addition, it saw a 62% increase in sales.

Oppo (37.6 million shipments) and vivo (36 million shipments), are among the top five in the ranking. Oppo also had the highest annual growth, with 60% sales, while Vivo had a 48% increase in sales and now has a 21% market share. It should be noted that these two brands belong to BKK, a large Chinese group of smartphones, which in addition to these brands, also owns RealMe and OnePlus, and that only with this information from Top5, Oppo and vivo jointly owns 21 % of the market, which means that it puts them right behind the South Korean manufacturer Samsung. And, probably, with RealMe and OnePlus, I believe they have more than 22%, but we are waiting for more information to update the article.

Canalys also mentions that Huawei is now in seventh place with an estimated 18.6 million shipments, and in this statistic it no longer has Honor, which certainly contributed with a good number in sales.

BrandQ1 2021 shipment (Millions)Q1 2021 Market shareQ1 2020 shipment (Millions)Q1 2020 Market shareAnnual Growth
Samsung76.522%59.622%+ 28%
Apple52.415%37.114%+ 41%
Xiaomi49.014%30.211%+ 62%
Oppo37.611%23.59%+ 60%
alive36.010%24.29%+ 48%
Total347.4100.00%272.5100.00%+ 27%

Looking ahead, Canalys predicts that the ongoing COVID pandemic will still play a prominent role in tampering with smartphone sales, but there is a bigger problem around the chipset shortage. These two factors are likely to force brands to reconsider their regional strategies and launches with more focus on countries that are recovering from the pandemic and less on those that are experiencing difficulties.

Canalys also states that LG’s exit from the market will also change the market, as the South Korean manufacturer has a strong presence in the Americas market, and that it will certainly be used by manufacturers such as Motorola or ZTE to gain presence.

Source: Canalys

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