Compared to the situation last year, most of the world is way better off right now which means a lot of the markets are also seeing signs of improvement. The smartphone industry, in particular, is seeing good numbers at least in terms of shipments in the first quarter as they are up 24% year on year. Samsung and Apple are still number 1 and 2 respectively but Chinese brands are nipping at their heels. One Chinese OEM that isn’t catching up is Huawei as it drops out of the top 5.
The latest report from Strategy Analytics show that smartphone shipments are up 24% year on year this first quarter of 2021 and in fact, this is the highest growth that we’ve seen since 2015. This is probably due to the continuation of work from home and remote education in a lot of countries and so there is still a big demand for smartphones and other mobile devices. Even though Samsung and Apple are still the top two brands, Chinese OEMs are the ones that had a pretty good showing this time around.
Samsung was able to ship 77 million smartphones and experienced 32% YoY growth while Apple shipped 57 million and had an even better 44% growth YoY. Xiaomi is in third and despite getting only 15% market share with its 49 million phones shipped, it was an 80% growth, with a strong performance in India and China and expansion to other regions like Africa, Europe, and Latin America. Oppo and Vivo were 4th and 5th respectively.
Huawei is noticeably absent in the Top 5 and has been relegated to the “others” in the table. The other brands had a combined total of 107 million but had a decline of -23% year on year. The top five brands had a 76% market share in this first quarter, up from the 71% it had the same time last year. The chip shortage and supply problems didn’t seem to have an effect on these brands at least this first quarter.
But Linda Sui, Senior Director of Strategy Analytics, says that smaller vendors will be affected by these problems in the next few quarters. Let’s see how drastic the effect will be and if even the bigger brands will eventually suffer.