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Samsung back on top for global smartphone sales

Samsung back on top for global smartphone sales

The South Korean-based vendor shipped 76.6 million units during Q1.

Credit: Photo 201828278 © Dr. Victor Wong | Dreamstime.com

Samsung has knocked Apple down to take the top spot for the most global smartphone sales during the first quarter of 2021.

According to research firm Gartner, the South Korean-based vendor’s position in the top spot with 76.6 million units shipped was supported by the launch of mid-price smartphones, as well as the early shipping of its 5G smartphone sales. 

While Apple was taken down a peg from the top spot in the Q4 2020 rankings, it still experienced shipment growth, with 58.6 million units moved during the quarter. During this time, it drummed up demand with the launch of its first 5G-enabled iPhone, with demand for the vendor expected to rise throughout the rest of the year. 

Samsung’s dominance in the market comes as overall smartphone shipments rose by 26 per cent year-on-year during the period, to 378 million shipments. 

In fact, all of the top five smartphone vendors saw shipment growth, which indicates the market is consolidating around the major players. 

“The improvement in consumer outlook, sustained learning and working from home, along with pent-up demand from 2020 boosted sales of smartphones in the first quarter. Consumers started spending on discretionary items as the pandemic situation improved in many parts of the world and markets opened up,” said Anshul Gupta, senior research director at Gartner.  

“However, one cannot ignore that the base for comparison is also lower in 2020 than it was in 2019. This explains the double-digit growth.”  

The global chip shortage, which has somewhat impacted the PC market in recent months, is yet to affect the smartphone market, as supply and demand are at adequate levels. 

The firm added that the balance may be disrupted however in the coming quarters, which may increase the average selling price of smartphones as a result. 


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