Global smartphone wholesale revenue increased 37% YoY to pass $100 billion in the first quarter of 2021, said a study. Smartphone shipment volume also grew 28% YoY this quarter.
According to the latest research from Strategy Analytics, the lengthened iPhone 12 supercycle, supply shortages and component price spikes, faster-than-expected 5G adoption, and industry consolidation all combined to deliver a much-needed positive quarter.
Apple maintained its leadership position and gained revenue share annually. Samsung followed but lost revenue share from last year. Vivo replaced Huawei and ranked third place, followed by OPPO and Xiaomi.
Huawei (not including Honor) fell to 6th place, followed by Lenovo-Motorola, Realme, Transsion, and OnePlus, the study revealed.
Linda Sui, Senior Director, at Strategy Analytics, said, “Apple and Samsung remain clear front runners in revenue terms but competition among the chasing pack is intense. Vivo surpassed Huawei and nudged up to third place this quarter, for the first time. Vivo took 8% revenue share this quarter, up from 5% one year ago, followed by Oppo and Xiaomi who each captured 7% share of the global revenue.”
“The global smartphone market is remarkable with 25% of revenue coming from super-premium devices with wholesale prices above $900. Apple and Samsung dominate these hugely profitable segments. Vivo has seen success and is ranked first in the $400 to $499 wholesale band, while Oppo led in the US$191 to $299 range in Q1 2021. Transsion maintained the leadership in entry tier (US$36 to $99) this quarter,” Yiwen Wu, Senior Analyst said.
The super-premium category where the top flagships from Apple and Samsung have almost total control offers great brand halo benefits, but is quite small at only 25 million units in Q1 2021, pointed out David Kerr, Senior Vice President.
"Opportunities for challengers to gain share are limited without huge investments over several decades and hundreds of millions of positive user experiences in addition to strongly competitive products," David added.