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Gartner Says Worldwide Smartphone Sales Grew 10.8% in Second Quarter of 2021

Global smartphone sales to end users totaled 328.8 million in the second quarter of 2021, an increase of 10.8% year over year, according to Gartner, Inc. Overall global mobile phone sales grew 10.2% despite supply constraints due to COVID-19 related production disruption and component shortages.

“Reinforced shelter-in-place instructions and factory shut-downs in India and Vietnam due to the second wave of COVID-19, along with closure of retail businesses and restrictions on online deliveries affected smartphone sales negatively in the second quarter after a strong start in beginning of 2021,” said Anshul Gupta, senior research director at Gartner. “However, regions with higher penetration of 5G connectivity saw strong demand for 5G smartphones and were growth drivers for leading smartphone vendors.”

Samsung expanded its 5G smartphone lineup at entry and midrange prices to target growth opportunities in 5G segments in the second quarter of 2021. The company maintained the No. 1 position among the top five global smartphone vendors (see Table 1). While it continues to be a market leader, Samsung’s year-over-year growth slowed due to supply constraints and production disruptions.

Table 1. Worldwide Top 5 Smartphone Sales to End Users by Vendor in 2Q21 (Thousands of Units)

Vendor 2Q21 Units 2Q21 Market Share (%) 2Q20 Units 2Q20 Market Share (%)

Samsung 57,748.4 17.6 54,759.4 18.4

Xiaomi 51,073.1 15.5 28,288.6 9.5

Apple 49,258.2 15.0 38,386.1 12.9

OPPO 33,634.1 10.2 23,612.1 8.0

Vivo 32,224.0 9.8 22,751.5 7.7

Others 104,930.6 31.9 129,141.9 43.5

Total 328,868.5 100 296,939.6 100

Due to rounding, some figures may not add up to the totals shown.

Source: Gartner (September 2021)

Xiaomi’s worldwide smartphone sales overtook Apple in the second quarter, placing Xiaomi at the No. 2 position for the first time. Xiaomi registered 80.5% growth in its smartphone sales owing to a stronger online presence and fast expansion in the global markets beyond Asia/Pacific led by investments in retail channels and partnerships with communication service providers (CSPs). Apple sales grew 28.3% and its market share increased 2.1% year over year. “While demand for iPhone 12 series smartphones remained strong in the key 5G driven markets, aggressive sales promotion for iPhone 11 series smartphones added to its growth in the price-sensitive segment,” said Gupta.

Other Chinese smartphone vendors Oppo and Vivo grew 42.4% and 41.6%, respectively, in the second quarter of 2021. Aggressively priced mid-tier smartphones, a wider distribution network and robust marketing campaigns in Western Europe boosted the growth of Oppo. Vivo is continuing to expand its market presence beyond Asia/Pacific beginning with a focus on Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA).

“Demand for smartphones continued to be strong in this quarter as buyers preferred higher specifications and better user experience. The pent-up demand from 2020 continues to drive advantage for global smartphone vendors in 2021,” said Gupta.

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