Realme’s YoY growth rate in the 5G market could be bad news for Samsung

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Samsung increased its global 5G smartphone sales year-on-year in the third quarter of 2021 by 70%. Even so, this wasn’t enough to propel the company in the lead. The fastest-growing 5G Android smartphone brand in Q3 wasn’t Samsung. The Korean tech giant was the fourth-fastest 5G OEM, and its 70% didn’t even come close to Realme. The latter OEM from China recorded a whopping 831% year-on-year growth in global 5G smartphone sales in Q3 2021 (via Counterpoint Research).

Realme appears to be posing a real threat to Samsung’s 5G growth, particularly in the low-to-mid-range market segments where Realme conducts most of its mobile business.

Realme essentially flooded these segments with 5G phones in 2021. Since the beginning of the year, the company has released dozens of 5G-enabled smartphones across too many series to keep track of. By the end of the third quarter, the company sold enough 5G phones to top an 831% YoY increase in sales.

Keep in mind that this growth rate is compared directly with Q3 2020 when Realme didn’t have nearly as many 5G phones on the market. Growth aside, in terms of pure 5G shipments in Q3, Samsung was the third-largest OEM in Q3 — according to Strategy Analytics — after outperforming Oppo.

Realme, however, had the 7th largest 5G market share, so it’s not a threat to Samsung yet, despite its impressive growth. But if Realme keeps improving at this rate, Samsung — once a leader in the 5G segment — could be in trouble.

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