Samsung dethrones Apple in global smartphone shipment leadership

By Amirtha P S, Desk Reporter
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The South Korean multinational conglomerate, Samsung Electronics has become the world’s biggest smartphone producer by accounting for a fifth of overall global sales in the first quarter and took back the crown from Apple, as per the market research firm Canalys.

The global sales of smartphones surged 27 percent to 347 million units in the first quarter as the Chinese economy opened up after the pandemic and a swift vaccine rollout in the US raised hopes of an economic recovery, the smartphone analysis report from Canalys said.

In the first quarter of 2021, Samsung shipped 76.5 million smartphones to take a 22 percent share of the market. The South Korean company has reported a 66 percent increase in quarterly profit in its mobile business, mainly driven by the strong surge in sales of its flagship Galaxy S21 smartphone series.

Meanwhile, Canalys report shows that during the first three months of 2021 the US-based technology giant Apple shipped only 52.4 million iPhones, falling to the second spot with a 15 percent market share. People upgrading to the new iPhone still drove sales and overall sales to China nearly doubled, the company said last day.

China’s Xiaomi had marked its best quarterly performance ever, with shipments surging 62 percent to 49 million phones and market share to 14 percent, taking it to the third position after Samsung and Apple.

Pandemic-driven surge

In 2020, people shopped for smartphones and gadgets as remote working and education trends increased because of the coronavirus pandemic, fuelling a global shortage in semiconductor chips that have roiled industries including autos and white goods.

“Supply of critical components, such as chipsets, has quickly become a major concern, and will hinder smartphone shipments in the coming quarters,” Ben Stanton, Senior Analyst at Canalys, said.

Last day, Apple said that the chip shortage could cost the company $3 billion to $4 billion in revenue in the April-June quarter, affecting primarily iPads and Macbooks.

The Canalys report also shows that the March-quarter smartphone shipments for China’s Oppo and Vivo brands also surged. Huawei, the former leading brand that remains shackled by the US sanctions and it took seventh place with 18.6 million units after selling its Honor brand last year.

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