Apple easily remained 5G smartphone market leader in Q1 2021

Apple comfortably retained its position as 5G smartphone market leader in the first quarter of this year, despite the seasonal dip after the combined launch and holiday quarter.

All iPhone 12 launch sales were in the final quarter of last year, with the iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro going on sale in October, and the iPhone 12 mini and Pro Max the following month …

Although the new models continued to sell well into this year, two factors did see Apple’s share of the 5G smartphone market drop off in the first quarter.

First, the seasonal dip after launch and holiday sales. Strategy Analytics reports a 23% quarter-on-quarter fall from 52.2M shipments in Q4 2020 to 40.4M in the first quarter of this year.

Second, the launch of new competing Android models. All four of the next-largest 5G smartphone brands saw significant increases in their shipments across the same time period, says the market intelligence firm.

Samsung was the world’s fastest growing 5G smartphone vendor in Q1 2021, leaping 79% QoQ to 17 million units shipped. Samsung is performing well with new 5G models, such as Galaxy S21 5G, S21 ultra 5G and S21+ 5G, in South Korea, North America, and parts of Europe.

Vivo was the second fastest growing 5G smartphone vendor in Q1 2021, jumping 62% QoQ to 19 million units shipped, driven by its iQOO U3 5G and U7 5G smartphones. Vivo’s 5G smartphone strongholds are China and Europe.

OPPO grew 55% QoQ, and Xiaomi increased 41% QoQ, both due to solid volumes at home in China.

Meanwhile, Apple dipped 23% QoQ, following a blowout Q4 2020 where the new 5G iPhone was wildly popular as a gift during the holiday season.

However, nobody challenged Apple’s position as 5G smartphone market leader, the company ending up with a 29.8% market share – close to twice that of second-placed Oppo, at 15.8%.

Photo: Gnustang/Unsplash

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