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The big picture: Shipments of 5G-capable smartphones increased six percent quarter over quarter to reach a record high of 135.7 million units during the first quarter of 2021, Strategy Analytics said as part of its latest research report. Apple took home the biggest slice of the pie but it was Samsung and Vivo that saw the most growth.
Samsung was found to be the world’s fastest growing 5G smartphone vendor. Shipments of 5G-enabled Samsung phones increased 79 percent QoQ, to 17 million devices in Q1. Vivo’s 5G phone shipments were up 62 percent and Oppo boosted shipments by 55 percent during the same period.
Apple saw shipments of 5G-enabled iPhones drop 23 percent in the first quarter compared to Q4 when it had what Strategy Analytics described as a “blowout” quarter with the new iPhones being popular as gifts during the holiday season. Still, Apple was responsible for 29.8 percent of 5G shipments with 40.4 million units moved in Q1.
Strategy Analytics director Woody Oh noted Samsung’s explosive 5G growth, but also highlighted the company’s portfolio gap in China. “Samsung has extremely low presence in China, the world’s biggest 5G market, and this remains a significant drag on the vendor’s outlook,” Oh added.
In the same respect, Chinese vendors don’t have much of a presence in the US, which will limit their ability to grow revenue and profit outside of their home market.
Image credit Lukmanazis