Samsung Remains the Largest in the Tumultuous Smartphone Market

Samsung remains the largest smartphone seller worldwide. After a steep drop in 2020, the market bounced back in 2021, although parts and supply issues continue to disrupt the market.


According to market analyst Gartner, 1,433,859,4,000 devices were sold in 2021. That is six percent more than in 2020, although it immediately nuances that 2020 saw a decrease of 12.5 percent due to corona. Sales picked up again, especially in the first half of 2021.

Samsung remains the market leader with a 19 percent market share; Apple follows closely with 16.7 percent and Xiaomi (13.2 percent) a little further. OPPO and Vivo close the top five with 9.6 and 9.5 percent, respectively. The rest of the market together accounts for 32 percent.

It is remarkable that all players in the top five are growing. Xiaomi, OPPO and Vivo even with an average of a quarter, while the players outside of that together give up 14.1 percent market share. According to Gartner, the three Chinese players were able to boost their market share by expanding in Europe, the Middle East, Africa and South America. But they also partly took the place of Huawei and LG. LG stops with smartphones, Huawei can no longer release full-fledged Androids due to American embargoes.

Gartner notes that the overall growth is because there are more outlets again and cheaper 5G devices. But not unimportant in this is that fewer people bought a new device in 2020. That delayed purchase was often made up for in 2021. At the same time, the market analyst notes that the global market is still plagued with shortages of parts or delivery problems, as sales fell in the fourth quarter.

For the fourth quarter of 2021, Apple does jump over Samsung, with a 21.9 percent market share compared to 18.2 percent for Samsung. However, all quarterly figures in the smartphone market are relative. For example, Apple usually releases a new iPhone after the summer, which usually gives the company a small boost in sales in the following months.

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