Global smartphone shipment grew for the first time since 2017, new report says

3 months ago

New iPhone 13s are displayed astatine an Apple store connected Jan. 27, 2022, successful Corte Madera, California.

Justin Sullivan | Getty Images News | Getty Images

The planetary smartphone marketplace grew for the archetypal clip successful 4 years — but the full fig of devices shipped past twelvemonth remained beneath the pre-pandemic level, according to a study from marketplace probe steadfast Counterpart Research.

Annual smartphone shipment grew 4% twelvemonth connected twelvemonth to 1.39 cardinal handsets successful 2021 adjacent arsenic the Covid pandemic and a worldwide components shortage hampered supplies.

Counterpoint information showed that successful 2017, smartphone makers shipped 1.56 cardinal units and that fig subsequently declined each twelvemonth from 2018 to 2020.

Pent-up request successful places similar North America, Latin America and India contributed to the market's wide maturation past year, according to Harmeet Singh Walia, elder expert astatine Counterpoint Research.

"Growth successful the US was driven mostly by request for Apple's archetypal 5G-enabled iPhone 12 bid seeping done to the archetypal 4th of 2021," Walia said successful a statement. That request continued passim the twelvemonth arsenic the October-December 4th ended connected a beardown enactment due to the fact that of vacation promotions and Black Friday sales, helium added.

India saw higher replacement rates for devices, amended availability arsenic good arsenic much charismatic financing options for the mid- to high-end phones, Singh Walia said.

Counterpoint Research this week said that smartphone income successful China fell 2% twelvemonth connected year for respective reasons, including the planetary semiconductor and constituent shortages that hindered the quality for smartphone makers to vessel their devices.

"The marketplace betterment could person been adjacent amended if not for the constituent shortages that impacted overmuch of the 2nd fractional of 2021. The large brands navigated the constituent shortages comparatively amended and hence managed to turn by gaining stock from long-tail brands," Singh Walia said.

How did the apical smartphone makers do?

Samsung held connected to the rod presumption arsenic the world's largest smartphone shaper by shipment measurement contempt its Vietnam factories being nether a Covid lockdown for immoderate time.

The South Korean institution shipped astir 271 cardinal devices successful 2021, which accounted for a 6% year-on-year maturation arsenic request for its mid-tier phones increased.

Samsung this week said it expects request for smartphones and tablets successful the existent 4th to diminution from the October-December play owed to anemic seasonality and uncertainties implicit constituent supply. But the institution said it plans to grow income of its flagship Galaxy S bid devices and rotation retired competitive, mass-market 5G handsets.

Counterpoint noted that immoderate of Samsung's maturation was constricted by increasing contention successful markets similar India and Latin America.

Apple, which reported record-high marketplace stock successful China past quarter, saw its planetary smartphone shipments turn by 18% twelvemonth connected twelvemonth to 237.9 cardinal units due to the fact that of the beardown show of the iPhone 12 series. Its shipment measurement grew successful cardinal markets similar the United States, China, Europe and India.

"In China, it became the apical smartphone marque successful Q4 aft six years acknowledgment to the iPhone 13, consequently overtaking Samsung arsenic the apical smartphone globally successful Q4 2021," Counterpoint Research said successful its report.

Chinese smartphone shaper Xiaomi saw its planetary shipment turn by 31% twelvemonth connected twelvemonth to 190 cardinal devices. Though its shipment measurement was importantly down that of Samsung and Apple, Xiaomi has grown successful caller years to go the third-largest smartphone shaper successful the world.

In fact, it's present the apical smartphone marque successful India aft dethroning Samsung successful 2018.

Oppo and Vivo besides registered double-digit growths past year, shipping 143.2 cardinal and 131.3 cardinal devices, respectively.

Counterpoint Research said successful its study that there's crushed to beryllium optimistic for the smartphone industry's maturation prospects successful 2022 if the satellite gets a grip connected the pandemic and if proviso concatenation shortages are resolved by the mediate of the year.

Some analysts and investors, however, expect the global spot shortage to past till extremity of this twelvemonth oregon well into 2023.