Global smartphone sales declined 6.8% in third quarter of 2021: Gartner
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Global smartphone sales declined 6.8% in third quarter of 2021: Gartner

Global smartphone sales declined 6.8% in third quarter of 2021: Gartner

Apple reclaimed the second position among the top five smartphone vendors in the third quarter and Xiaomi slipped to the third place

Divsha Bhat

According to Gartner, the global smartphone sales to end-users has declined 6.8 per cent in the third quarter of 2021, compared to the same time period in 2020.

Due to component shortages, production schedules were disrupted, resulting in lower inventory levels and delayed product availability, ultimately impacting sales to end-users.

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

The current shortage of components, such as radio frequency and power management integrated circuits, delayed smartphone production globally. 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.

The third quarter of 2021 saw Apple reclaim the second spot among the top five smartphone vendors, and Xiaomi fell to third place. Samsung maintained its overall lead in smartphone sales, although its market share decreased by nearly two percent over the last year. Even with the overall decline, Samsung experienced growth of its premium smartphones, led by strong demand for revamped foldable smartphones. Chinese smartphone vendors Xiaomi, Vivo and OPPO increased their market share 1 per cent, 2.4 per cent and 1.7 per cent respectively, year-over-year.

Apple continued to experience strong demand for iPhones led by feature upgrades and underpenetrated 5G installed base. Upgraded bionic A15 sensor, improved battery life and camera sensor optimisation for improved photography are some of the features that drove iPhone upgrades.

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

Vivo introduced 13 new smartphones in the quarter 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.

Earlier this year, Gartner predicted that the smartphone sales to end users totaled 328.8m in the second quarter of 2021, up 10.8 per cent year over year.

Read: Global smartphone sales grew 10.8% in second quarter of 2021: Gartner

“Regions with higher penetration of 5G connectivity saw strong demand for 5G smartphones and were growth drivers for leading smartphone vendors,” Anshul Gupta, senior research director at Gartner had said at the time.

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