Global smartphone shipments up 13% in second quarter on increased spending

Samsung maintained its top position with 18.8% market share

Samsung sold 59 million smartphones in the second quarter. AFP
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Global smartphone shipments surged 13.2 per cent in the second quarter of this year, beating analysts’ expectations of 12.5 per cent as demand was driven by a recovery in global spending in the post-pandemic era, a new report showed.

Vendors sold more than 313.2 million smartphones in the three months to June 30, about 36.6 million more than the same period last year, said Massachusetts-based researcher International Data Corporation (IDC) in its latest report.

“The smartphone market has been fortunate enough to not experience the severe supply constraints as the automotive, PC [personal computer] and display industries,” IDC vice president Ryan Reith said.

“The pandemic is far from over, yet consumers around the world continue to show the need for mobile devices and a willingness to spend in these categories,” he added.

With a yearly increase of 9.3 per cent in smartphone shipments, South Korea's Samsung maintained its top position with 18.8 per cent market share in the second quarter, selling 59 million smartphones in three months.

Chinese brand Xiaomi pushed Cupertino-based iPhone manufacturer Apple to the third spot as it occupied the second position for the first time. Xiaomi shipped 53.1 million smartphones and grabbed 16.9 per cent of the global smartphone industry.

Apple, which occupies 14.1 per cent of the global market share, sold 44.2 million smartphones in the quarter.

Every region contributed to overall growth except for China, where the lack of flagship product launches, weaker-than-expected demand and the further decline of the Huawei brand pulled the market down 10 per cent on an annual basis, IDC said.

“Globally, all Chinese brands are growing rapidly, with Xiaomi hitting record volume this quarter … another rising star is Realme, which saw the fastest year-over-year growth among the top 10 at 149 per cent, and more than three quarters of its volume coming from outside China,” IDC research director Nabila Popal said.

“As all these Chinese brands increase their focus in regions like Europe, Latin America and the Middle East and Africa, the competition will only get more intense for the likes of Samsung and other players in those markets,” she added.

With Huawei shipments continuing to decline and the recent announcement that LG is exiting the smartphone business, new market share is up for grabs.

In the US, Motorola, TCL and OnePlus experienced year-on-year gains “beyond what they have seen in recent years due to LG's departure” said IDC, adding that “in China … Xiaomi, Oppo, Vivo and Apple continue to gain from Huawei's rapid decline".

IDC found that shipments of 5G devices are on the rise, especially as price points go down.

“But we continue to believe that consumers are not yet buying specifically for 5G. They are buying because they need a replacement device and in some cases a first-time smartphone,” said Mr Reith.

Updated: July 30, 2021, 6:22 PM