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Global Smartphone Sales Decline 6.8% in Q3

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STAMFORD, Conn. — Smartphone sales across the globe dropped 6.8% in the third quarter of 2021, when compared to the same period last year.

Component shortages disrupted production schedules, leading to lower inventory and delayed product availability, which eventually impacted sales to end-users, according to the market research firm Gartner last month.

The current shortage of components, such as radio frequency and power management integrated circuits, delayed smartphone production globally, Gartner said. This disrupted the supply-demand equilibrium and end users were burdened with limited choices at point of sale.

Sales of premium smartphones continued to grow even though overall smartphones sales declined in the quarter.

“Despite strong consumer demand, smartphone sales declined due to delayed product launches, longer delivery schedule and insufficient inventory at the channel,” said Anshul Gupta, senior research director, Gartner. 

“Supply constraints impacted the production schedule of basic and utility smartphones much more than premium smartphones.”

Samsung ranks No. 1 in smartphone sales in the the third quarter of 2021, though its market share declined 1.9% year over year, according to Gartner. Despite the overall decline, Samsung experienced growth of its premium smartphones, led by strong demand for revamped foldable smartphones. 

Apple ranks No. 2 in sales, and Xiaomi ranks No.3 in the period, Gartner said. 

Chinese smartphone vendors Xiaomi, Vivo, and OPPO increased their year-over-year market share 1%, 2.4%, and 1.7%.

See more: Mobile Security Trends

Worldwide Smartphone Sales to End Users in 3Q21

(Thousands of Units)

Vendor 3Q21
Market Share (%)
Market Share (%)
Samsung 69,002.7 20.2 80,816.0 22.1
Apple 48,458.6 14.2 40,598.4 11.1
Xiaomi 44,483.3 13.0 44,405.4 12.1
Vivo 36,005.9 10.5 29,788.8 8.1
OPPO 33,623.9 9.8 29,850.4 8.1
Others 110,718.4 32.3 140,807.8 38.4
Total 342,292.8 100.0 366,266.9 100.0

Note: Due to rounding, some figures may not add up to the totals shown.
(Source: Gartner)

Apple continued to experience strong demand for iPhones led by feature upgrades and under-penetrated 5G installed base, according to Gartner. An upgraded bionic A15 sensor, improved battery life, and camera sensor optimization for improved photography are the leading features that drove iPhone upgrades. Apple continues to revamp its online channel and position trade-in programs to accelerate demand for its 5G iPhones through the rest of 2021.

Xiaomi’s strong online channel-led strategy for market expansion in Europe and the Middle East and partnering with communication service providers (CSPs) in those regions helped the company increase its global smartphone market share, Gartner said.

Vivo registered the highest year-over-year growth (20.9%) among the top five global smartphone vendors, according to Gartner. The company introduced 13 new smartphones to try to gain advantage while entering new markets, including Europe and the Middle East, along with the addition of new offline retailers and experience stores to its strategy.

Gartner shares its findings on smartphone sales in a recent report available to clients: “Market Share: PCs, Ultra-mobiles and Mobile Phones, All Countries, 3Q21 Update.”

See more: The Mobile Security Market

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