Thanks to extremely strong sales of iPhone 12, Apple has largely taken the lead in market share in 5G smartphones. Samsung, which was nevertheless a pioneer with its flagship is very far behind, in 4th place, behind Oppo and Vivo. The South Korean manufacturer is nevertheless one of those which progressed the fastest in the last quarters.
The good sales of iPhone 12 are confirmed in the latest report from Strategy Analytics. Apple sold 52.2 million 5G smartphones in the last months of 2020 – an absolute record, during the holiday season very conducive to shopping – which then represented all the same 40.7% market share worldwide. Since then, iPhone 12 sales have continued to do well, although once the holiday season has passed, the level of sales has fallen from some 23% to 29.8% of market share.
We remain on a volume of 40.4 million devices, which is almost double what has managed to sell Oppo, number 2 in the ranking with 21.5 million units sold in the first quarter of 2021 (15.8% market share). Oppo’s sales are followed by those of Vivo, still only one or two points behind the first. Finally, Samsung is only in 4th place, with 17 million smartphones sold and a market share of 12.5% in Q1 2021.
Apple took the lead in the top 5 5G smartphone vendors thanks to the iPhone 12
Xiaomi closes the top 5 in a pocket square of the biggest sellers of 5G smartphones with a market share very close to 12.2% in the 1st quarter of 2021. Samsung has managed to recover the slope after falling behind Xiaomi in the last quarter of the year 2020. When we look at it the growth of the various manufacturers between the last quarter of 2020 and the first quarter of 2021 one thing is immediately striking.
Apple’s competitors did not fall asleep, and on the contrary experienced impressive quarter-over-quarter sales increases. What is especially true for Samsung which shows an increase of 79% thanks to the good sales of Galaxy S21.
Strategy analytics explains:
“Samsung is doing well with new 5G models, like the Galaxy S21 5G, S21 Ultra 5G and S21 + 5G in South Korea, North America and parts of Europe. At the same time, Apple plunged 23% quarter-over-quarter, following the sales explosion in Q4 2020 when the new iPhone 5G enjoyed unparalleled popularity as a gift during the holiday season. ”.
However, how to explain such a situation when Samsung was a pioneer in 5G from the Galaxy S20, with a product more than a year before Apple’s iPhone 12? The answer probably lies in the size of a market that seems poised to double in volume.. Strategy Analytics continues: “We predict that 5G smartphone shipments worldwide will reach a record 624 million units for the whole of 2021 against 269 million for the whole of 2020”.
Apple could strengthen its 5G leadership with iPhone 13
However, if we disregard the drop following the holiday season, everything seems to indicate that 5G iPhone sales have not yet reached their full potential. This is because Apple doesn’t sell quite the same iPhone 12s everywhere. The United States is one of the few countries where Apple offers iPhone 12 compatible with 5G mmWave. These smartphones represent between 30 and 35% of total iPhone 12 sales.
Everything seems to indicate that Apple will take advantage of the iPhone 13 to offer mmWave connectivity in more countries. This could de facto convince, we hope, operators to move faster on their deployment of the fastest 5G network. In France, it nevertheless seems that we will still have to be patient: most operators are lagging behind in the deployment of the 5G network core and no date has yet been announced for the mmWave network.
Still, there is something to be amazed by Apple’s ability to commit quite regularly this kind of exploits: to become in a few months the leader of a market in which the brand was however absent. What do you think of these figures? Do you think the popularity of the iPhone 12 is limited? Share your opinion in the comments of this article!
Credit: Strategy Analytics