Global 5G smartphone shipments touched 134 million in the first quarter of 2021 from 24 million units in Q1 2020, according to the latest research from Strategy Analytics.
China’s rapid adoption of 5G technology is powering demand for 5G smartphones. China Mobile, China Telecom and China Unicom are investing billions of dollars in building the super-fast 5G mobile network across the country.
Apple and the domestic trio of OPPO, Vivo and Xiaomi benefitted most as the demand exploded. OPPO, Vivo and Xiaomi closed on Apple capturing 16 percent, 14 percent and 12 percent global market share in the quarter respectively.
“Huge demand in China, a strong push from Apple iPhone, and a wave of value priced Android models fueled a record quarter for 5G smartphone shipments,” Ville-Petteri Ukonaho, Associate Director at Strategy Analytics, said.
Apple shipped 40.4 million 5G iPhones in Q1 2021, after shipping 52 million units globally in Q4 2020. Apple iPhone is the 5G leader with a 30 percent 5G smartphone market share globally in the quarter, the report said.
OPPO grabbed 16 percent global 5G smartphone market share in Q1 2021, more than doubling its share from 7 percent in Q1 2020. OPPO is ahead of domestic competitors Vivo and Xiaomi, taking advantage of Huawei’s collapse in 5G smartphones to capture share. OPPO’s A55 5G and Reno 5 5G have become hugely popular in China.
Vivo increased its global 5G smartphone share in Q1 2021, up 646 percent on volumes of 19.4 million, taking 3rd place in global 5G smartphone shipments for the quarter.
Samsung shipped 17 million 5G smartphones in Q1 2021, up from 8.3 million in Q1 2020. Samsung holds a 13 percent market share in 5G smartphone shipments globally in Q1 2021, down from 35 percent in Q1 2020.
Xiaomi is the fifth largest 5G smartphone vendor based on volumes. Xiaomi shipped 16.6 million 5G smartphones shipped, up from 2.5 million in Q1 2020. Xiaomi captured a 12 percent share of the global 5G smartphone market in Q1 2021.