Samsung leads global smartphone shipments in 2021 as market grows for the first time since 2017: Counterpoint
In 2021, Samsung led the global annual smartphone shipments despite the market showing growth for the first time since 2017, according to a Counterpoint Research report. This year, total smartphone shipments totaled 1.39 billion units, but they remained below pre-pandemic levels despite a 4 percent annual growth. The market research firm attributes this to the ongoing impact of COVID-19 as well as component shortages. Interestingly, Q4 2021 deliveries were down 6 percent year-over-year to 371 million units. Meanwhile, Apple had record shipments and Xiaomi registered the largest increase in the absolute number of units shipped.
According to last report According to Counterpoint Research’s Market Monitor, the global smartphone recovery in 2021 was driven by increased demand in regions such as North America, Latin America and India. Growth in the US was driven primarily by demand for the first 5G-enabled Apple iPhone 12 series, and continued throughout the year. Growth in India was recorded thanks to higher replacement rates, better affordability and attractive financing options for mid to high end phones.
“However, China, the world’s largest smartphone market, continued to contract due to supply-side issues caused by continued component shortages, as well as demand issues caused by lengthening replacement cycles,” said Harmeet Singh Walia, Senior Analyst at Counterpoint. Research. He also said that the market recovery could have been even better were it not for the component shortages that affected much of the second half of 2021.
In terms of OEMs, Samsung shipped 271 million smartphones in 2021, up 6% from 2020. This increase is due to increased demand for mid-range A and M series smartphones. As mentioned, Apple recorded 18% year-over-year growth and hit a record 237.9 million units in 2021 thanks to the strong performance of the iPhone 12 series. Xiaomi’s global smartphone shipments grew the most, up 31 percent year on year to reach a record 190 million units last year.
Oppo (including OnePlus from Q3 2021) recorded a 28 percent increase with 143.2 million units shipped. Subbrand Vivo grew 21% year-on-year to reach 131.3 million units per year in 2021. Motorola was the fastest growing brand among the top 10 smartphone OEMs in terms of annual global shipments. Realme ranked among the top 5 Android OEMs in the world for the first time, and Honor took a spot in the top ten after its first full year as an independent OEM. Finally, the Transsion Group has done well with the Tecno and Infinix brands.