The drop in smartphone shipments in the second half of 2021 did not prevent the market from growing over 12 months. Apple remains the dolphin of Samsung but less than 3 points of market share now separates it from the number one Samsung.
Started with a 25.5% increase in volumes in the first quarter, the year 2021 ended with a much less good result for the global smartphone market. In the fourth quarter, terminal sales fell 3.2% to 362.4 million units year-on-year. They thus recorded their second consecutive quarter of decline. “It is clear that the second half of 2021 did not meet expectations with volumes down 4.5%”, comments Ryan Reith, analyst at the research firm IDC which publishes these figures. Nevertheless, the increase in deliveries noted in the first half (+19.41%) was strong enough for annual sales to reach 1.35 billion units, i.e. 5.7% more than in 2020.
The return to growth expected in the second quarter of 2022
The drop in sales is directly linked to problems with the supply of components and their deleterious effects on the supply chain. They have truly prevented suppliers from responding satisfactorily to consumer demand starting in the third quarter. “We expect the difficulties to persist in the first half of 2022. Thereafter, they should start to ease and allow the market to return to growth throughout the second half of the year,” said Ryan Reith . The analyst is all the more optimistic as a number of purchases remain on hold and as customers show an increasingly marked interest in 5G terminals and foldable models.
6% growth for Samsung, 16% for Apple
Among the top 5 Smartphone manufacturers, only Samsung (+8.1%) and Xiaomi (+3.9%) managed to increase their deliveries in the fourth quarter of 2021. All, on the other hand, posted growth in volumes over the whole year. That of Samsung reached 6% and allowed it to keep first place in the ranking with an unchanged market share of 20.1%. The Korean nevertheless continues to lose the lead over its pursuer Apple. With sales up 16%, the Apple firm captured 17.4% of global smartphone sales in 2021, compared to 15.9% in 2020 and 13.9% in 2019. Having made the most of the Huawei’s descent into hell, the Chinese Xiaomi shows for its part 29.3% of additional deliveries and 14.1% (+3.4 points). Its counterparts Oppo and Vivo also posted strong performances with sales up 20.1% and 14.8% respectively.