Report: Global Smartphone Shipments Hit 340m in Q1

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By Emma Okonji

Global smartphone shipments experienced the highest growth since 2015 during the first quarter of 2021, according to the recent report from Strategy Analytics, a global market research organisation.

The figures from the report showed an all-time high push of 5G models of smartphones by Chinese vendors.

The report placed shipments at 340 million units, a 24 per cent year-on-year increase, with the Chinese smartphone market highlighted as particularly buoyant, up 34 per cent to 94 million units.

According to the report, the global top five vendors, were Samsung; Apple; Xiaomi; Oppo; and Vivo, which accounted for 76 per cent of global shipments, compared with 71 per cent in Q1 2020, as the companies shrugged off chip shortages and supply constraints.

In Nigeria, Samsung smartphones still maintain lead in volume of smartphone shipments, followers by Tecno brand of smartphones, while the Huawei brand follows closely.

The global report from Strategy Analytics, shows that Samsung maintained its leading position, with shipments of 77 million smartphones up 32 per cent driven by the A-series and its 5G portfolio.

Apple’s growth was supported by the iPhone 12, with total shipments of 57 million units, while Xiaomi held on to number three in the rankings for the second quarter in a row, shipping 49 million.
Oppo shipped 38 million, up from 23 million in Q1 2020, and Vivo 37 million versus 20 million.

Huawei found itself in the other segment, which overall accounted for 82 million units in the recent quarter, down from 107 million.

Analysing the report, Senior Director at Strategy Analytics, Linda Sui, said: “The China smartphone market had a sensational quarter driven by 5G product success across multiple price tiers. China smartphone shipments were up +35 per cent YoY reaching 94 million units in Q1 2021.

“Globally, the top five vendors combined took a 76 per cent market share in Q1 2021, up from 71 per cent 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.”

Executive Director at Strategy Analytics, Neil Mawston, added: “Samsung remains the largest vendor shipping 77 million smartphones globally in the first quarter, growing +32 per cent YoY from 58 million units in Q1 2020.

Samsung’s newly launched more affordable series 4G and 5G phones, and the earlier launched Galaxy S21 series combined drove solid performance in the quarter.

“Apple shipped 57 million units iPhones worldwide, capturing second place with a 17 per cent volume market share. The strong momentum behind the 5G iPhone 12 series continued across multiple markets.”

Senior Analyst at Strategy Analytics, Yiwen Wu, said: “Xiaomi held third place in terms of volume of smartphones shipped for the second quarter in a row. It shipped 49 million smartphones globally and took a 15 per cent market share in Q1 2021, up from 10 per cent one year ago.