Smartphones had over 40% of global shipments in 2021 as revenues jumped to $450 billion

The global smartphone market revenue crossed $448 billion in 2021, according to the latest research from Counterpoint’s Market Monitor Service. The revenues grew by 7% YoY and 20% QoQ even as component shortages and COVID-19 restrictions continued to disrupt supply chains around the world.

Smartphone average selling price (ASP) grew by 12% YoY to reach $322, mainly due to a higher share of 5G smartphones, which have a significantly higher ASP than the 4G models, as well as Apple’s successful launch of its iPhone 13 devices. Besides, more 5G-enabled models were released in 2021 as OEMs – such as Xiaomi, vivo, OPPO and realme – focused on fulfilling a greater demand for affordable 5G smartphones in emerging markets such as India, Southeast Asia, LATAM and Eastern Europe. As a result, 5G-enabled smartphones contributed more than 40% of the global smartphone shipments in 2021, compared to 18% in 2020.

There has also been a global increase in demand for mid-range and premium smartphones due to the pandemic-linked education, work and entertainment from home convincing some consumers to upgrade their devices for a better overall experience. Lastly, the global shortage of smartphone components has also led major OEMs to increase the retail prices of some of their entry and mid-tier smartphones.

Smartphone Market Revenue by Top 5 Brands, 2017-2021 (in $ billions)

  • Apple’s iPhone revenue increased by 35% YoY to $196 billion in 2021. It captured 44% of total global smartphone revenue in 2021. The high demand for 5G-enabled iPhone 12 and 13 series helped Apple register 14% growth in its overall ASP, which reached $825 in 2021. The brand also managed to increase its share in key emerging markets such as India, Thailand, Vietnam and Brazil.
  • Samsung’s smartphone revenue increased by 11% YoY to reach $72 billion in 2021, compared to $64 billion in 2020. Its ASP grew by 5% to $263 in 2021. Samsung managed to increase its global market share in the mid and premium segments with the launch of the Galaxy S flagship series and increase in the share of 5G phones. 2021 also witnessed the launch of two foldable smartphones – Samsung Galaxy Z Fold3 5G and Z Flip3 – which also nudged the overall revenue higher. Samsung shipped three times more foldable devices in 2021 than in 2020.
  • Xiaomi’s revenue increased by 49% YoY to reach $36 billion in 2021, compared to $24 billion in 2020, mainly due to the increase in shipments and market share for its mid and premium segment smartphones such as the Mi 11x series. In India, the brand’s biggest market, the smartphones priced at $250 and above grew by 39% YoY to account for more than 14% of Xiaomi’s India market, compared to 8% in 2020.
  • OPPO (grouped together with OnePlus since the third quarter of 2021) saw a revenue increase of 47% YoY to $37 billion. Its ASP grew by 15% YoY to reach $259 in 2021. The brand saw an increase in shipments in the $400-$599 and $600-$799 price bands, mainly owing to strong demand for the Reno 6 series, Find X3 and OnePlus 9 series. 5G-enabled smartphones contributed more than 50% of the brand’s yearly shipments in 2021 against 28% in 2020. OPPO also managed to expand its presence in mature markets such as China, Japan and parts of Europe (including Nordic countries), which drove the higher revenue and ASP. OnePlus revenue grew by 33% YoY in 2021 driven by the OnePlus Nord series and OnePlus 9.
  • vivo’s revenue increased by 43% YoY to $34 billion. Its ASP grew by 19% YoY to reach $259 in 2021. The brand ranked as the fifth-largest smartphone vendor in 2021 both in terms of revenue and shipments. vivo’s revenue performance was driven by the well-received flagship X60 and S series, exceptional performance in China and a wide product portfolio spread across all price bands.


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