Smartphone market shows strong growth in first quarter

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New market research from Canalys has shown that sales of smartphones surged by 27 per cent in the first quarter, rising to almost 350 million units.

This strong performance is being attributed to the opening up of the Chinese economy and to successful vaccine programme in some major economies, particularly the US.

South Korea's Samsung shipped 76.5 million smartphones in the quarter grabbing a 22% share of the market, overtaking Apple to become the world's biggest smartphone producer.

Xiaomi reported its best quarterly performance ever, with shipments surging 62% to 49 million phones taking a market share of 14%, and taking third spot after Samsung and Apple.

According to Canalys Apple shipped 52.4 million iPhones in the January-March period, taking a 15% marketshare.

Throughout last year people turned to shopping online for smartphones and gadgets as they stayed at home and this has helped to fuel a global shortage in semiconductor chips.

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

China's Huawei, the world's former No. 1 handset manufacturer, which is still being affected by US sanctions, shipped 18.6 million units - 14.9 million or which were sold in China, down from 30.1 million in the same period last year.

Huawei was blacklisted by the Trump administration in 2019 and prevented from importing critical technology of US origin, which has severely affected its ability to design its own chips and source components.

As a consequence it was forced to sell its Honor budget smartphone unit to a group of agents and dealers in November 2020.