Samsung reclaims top spot as biggest smartphone maker

Samsung launches door to door smartphone repair service in SA
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Global smartphone shipments have surged in Q1 2021 with Samsung reclaiming top spot as the world’s biggest smartphone producer after shipping 76.5 million units (22%), followed by Apple who shipped 52.4 million units (15%), says market research firm Canalys.

Xiaomi clocked its best single-quarter performance ever, growing 62% and shipping 49 million units. Oppo and Vivo completed the top five, shipping 37.6 million units and 36.0 million units respectively.

Huawei, which no longer includes Honor, is now placed seventh with 18.6 million units, as the former world number one remains shackled by US sanctions.

Overall, global sales surged 27% to 347 million units in the first quarter as the Chinese economy opened up after the pandemic and a swift vaccine rollout in the United States raised hopes of an economic recovery.

Commenting on challenges facing the smartphone industry, Canalys Research Manager Ben Stanton said, “COVID-19 is still a major consideration, but it is no longer the main bottleneck. Supply of critical components, such as chipsets, has quickly become a major concern, and will hinder smartphone shipments in the coming quarters. And it will drive global brands to rethink regional strategies.”

“Some brands, for example, have de-prioritized device shipments in India, amid the new COVID-19 wave, and instead are focusing efforts on recovering regions, such as Europe. And while the shortages persist, it will grant larger companies a unique advantage, as the global brands have more power to negotiate allocation. This will put further pressure on smaller brands and could force many to follow LG out of the door,” he concludes.