The global smartphone market fell more than 13% back in 2020 due to the pandemic. In Q4 2021, the global smartphone market shipped more than 363 million units, which accounts for a small 1% year-on-year growth. In the year 2021, the vendors shipped more than 1.35 billion smartphones, resulting in a 7% year-on-year increase, close to 2019’s levels, which stood at 1.37 billion shipments.
The latest Canalys report shares that the smartphone market grew 7% year-on-year in 2021, which means that we’re back to pre-COVID levels in terms of smartphone shipments. The supply shortages affected all of the manufacturers on this list, and it’s still impressive to see a 7% growth, despite the many challenges and issues going on globally. Samsung is still the leading smartphone vendor with 20% market share, and 274.5 million smartphone shipments. Apple comes second with a 17% market share and 230.1 million shipments.
Xiaomi is third on the global smartphone shipment rank with 14% market share and 191.2 million shipments. OPPO (including OnePlus comes fourth with 11% market share and 145.1 million shipments, while vivo managed to ship 129.9 million units and captured 10% of the entire market.
Sanyam Chaurasia, Canalys Analyst, said the following:
“The road to recovery has been challenging for the industry, as demand still outstripped supply in many areas, [...] Many vendors delivered their best performance in 2021, expanding smartphone shipments by double digits to compare with, and surpass, pre-COVID-19 levels. The key growth driver for the industry came from the vast mass market segment, especially in Asia Pacific, Middle East and Africa as well as Latin America. Unfortunately, this segment also witnessed the most severe component shortages, especially in low-end 4G chipsets. Going forward, the supply imbalance will ease gradually as chipset vendors ramp up production, and the price of 5G chipsets falls, which will help 5G devices become the next volume driver in 2022.”
The challenges aren't over yet, and the chip shortage is expected to last a lot longer than we initially thought. A new report highlights the issue, and states that although the situation is expected to get better over time, it will take billions in investments and it could take years to recover to pre-pandemic levels.