The coronavirus pandemic hit the smartphone market hard at the beginning of 2020, but while global demand gradually recovered during the year’s second half, overall sales were unsurprisingly down from 2019.
Looking ahead, most market research firms expect the mobile industry to continue its slow but steady rebound in 2021 and possibly conclude the year with a very similar number of handsets shipped around the world as back in 2019.
Of course, the COVID-19 threat will remain for the foreseeable future, pushing many consumers towards cheaper devices rather than no new devices at all. At the same time, however, the not-so-cheap iPhone 12 Pro and 12 Pro Max are expected to remain incredibly successful through the end of the first quarter of 2021 (and most likely beyond) and will be instrumental in a huge year-over-year shipment progress for the industry as a whole.
What’s pretty much set in stone is that Apple will dominate the global vendor charts when considering the six-month period ending March 31, 2021, which is certainly no small feat. Given that the Galaxy S21 family is not proving hugely popular at the moment, Samsung might have trouble returning to first place in Q3 as well, not to mention Q4, when the redesigned and vastly improved iPhone 13 lineup is obviously expected to see daylight.
While it’s hard to anticipate who will join Apple and Samsung on the global 5G podium this year, Xiaomi should comfortably sit in third place overall as far as the entire mobile industry is concerned for the October 2020 – March 2021 timeframe.
Xiaomi will basically continue to be the number one company benefited by Huawei’s woes, especially on the old continent. Huawei, by the way, could end the current quarter in sixth place overall, down from the silver medal position just a year ago, with a modest tally of under 20 million unit shipments. Ouch!
Apple’s iPhone 12 Pro duo and 5G handsets in general will help boost the market in Q1