The smartphone market is finally seeing recovery after a pandemic-driven year, as the global market saw a 25.5 percent year-on-year growth in shipments. According to preliminary data from the International Data Corporation’s Worldwide Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker report, smartphone vendors shipped nearly 346 million smartphones during Q1 2021. The strong growth came from all regions with the greatest gains coming from China and Asia Pacific. Chinese smartphone maker Huawei which is facing sanctions from the US is out of the top-5 manufacturers list this year. Other Chinese companies like Xiaomi, Oppo, and Vivo, on the other hand, grew share over the last quarter, landing them in the 3rd, 4th, and 5th places globally during Q1 2021 with a 14.1 percent, 10.8 percent, and 10.1 percent share, respectively. The IDC report said that the three companies are increasing their focus in the international markets where Huawei had grown its share in the recent years.
The IDC report also said that Samsung regained the top spot in Q1 2021 with an impressive 75.3 million shipments and a 21.8 percent market share. Here, the report said that the Samsung Galaxy S21’s low pricing, as compared to its predecessor helped the South Korean manufacturer. This is in-line with a recent report that said that Samsung has this year overtook Apple in terms of smartphone sales. Apple came second with a 16 percent market share, shipping 55.2 million iPhone units in the first quarter. “The recovery is proceeding faster than we expected, clearly demonstrating a healthy appetite for smartphones globally. But amidst this phenomenal growth, we must remember that we are comparing against one of the worst quarters in smartphone history,1Q20, the start of the pandemic when the bulk of the supply chain was at a halt and China was in full lockdown," said Nabila Popal, research director with IDC’s Worldwide Mobile Device Trackers.
In the first quarter of 2021, a total of 345.5 million smartphone units were shipped, up from 275.2 million in the first quarter last year, according to the IDC report. The IDC’s Worldwide Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker report uses proprietary tools and research processes. The tracker reports from IDC are updated on a semiannual, quarterly, and monthly basis.