BY: ONOME AMUGE
Global smartphone shipments increased by six percent in 2021 as the industry saw a significant rise in demand, driven by a recovery in spending as marketplaces emerged from Covid-19-induced disruptions in 2020, according to a new report by Gartner.
The technology market research firm reported that over 1.43 billion smartphones were sold in 2021, nearly 80 million more than in 2020.
South Korea’s Samsung maintained its top position with 19 percent market share in 2021 and a year-on-year shipment increase of 7.6 percent as over 272.3 million smartphones were shipped in the year under review.
US-based Apple was second with 16.7 percent of global market share. The company, which is expected to launch its iPhone SE 3 this week, sold 239.2 million smartphones in the January-December period.
Meanwhile, Chinese brand, Xiaomi, occupied the third spot, shipping over 189.3 million smartphones and an estimated 13.2 percent of the market.
According to Anshul Gupta, senior research director at Gartner, an improved consumer outlook, pent-up demand from 2020 in large markets, such as India and China, helped drive sales in the first half of 2021.
Gupta further asserted that higher smartphone sales in the first half of 2021, following a 12.5 percent decline in 2020, helped to boost performance last year.
Despite higher demand from consumers and resultant positive outlook, Gartner observed that the trend reversed in the second half of the year as component shortages and supply chain issues disrupted smartphone sales in the second half of 2021, while out-of-stock situations for popular models and limited inventories pushed out some of the possible sales to 2022.
As a result, global smartphone sales dropped 1.7 percent annually during the fourth quarter of 2021 as supply constraints took effect on the market.
In the fourth quarter of the year, Apple held the leading position among the top five smartphone vendors, supported by strong demand for its 5G-enabled iPhones, particularly the iPhone 13 series.
Samsung also registered strong demand for its premium phones in the October-December period as its sales increased 11 percent as compared to the fourth quarter of 2020.
On the contrary, the demand for Chinese smartphones weakened as Oppo and Vivo experienced declines in sales.