Regardless of some unfavorable circumstances, together with the continued international well being disaster and a scarcity of semiconductors, the smartphone’s bumper yr continues. In accordance with know-how analysis agency Gartner, international smartphone gross sales totaled virtually 329 million within the second quarter of 2021, a rise of 10.8% year-on-year – and gross sales are set to continue to grow.
Client curiosity in shopping for new telephones began within the first quarter of this yr, which noticed shipments attain 378 million items, triggering what analysts count on to be months of restoration for the trade.
Final yr successfully marked an enormous dip in smartphone gross sales, with shipments down 10.5% in comparison with the earlier yr. This was largely brought on by cautious shopper spending amid unpredictable financial situations within the context of the COVID-19 pandemic.
SEE: Android 12: New function means that you can management the UI with face gestures by way of cellphone’s digicam
However a lot of that spending, which was put apart in 2020, is now prepared for use this yr. “Demand for smartphones continued to be sturdy on this quarter as consumers most well-liked greater specs and higher person expertise. The pent-up demand from 2020 continues to drive benefit for international smartphone distributors in 2021,” mentioned Gartner senior analysis director Anshul Gupta.
The first driver of development within the smartphone trade is the rising shopper curiosity in 5G units. In a separate evaluation, market analysis agency IDC predicted that 5G machine shipments will develop to succeed in 570 million items this yr – up greater than 123% in comparison with 2020.
IDC additionally anticipates that by the top of 2022, 5G items will make up greater than half (54.1%) of all smartphone shipments.
Shoppers’ curiosity in 5G can clarify the success of Samsung, which expanded its 5G smartphone lineup this quarter and retained its place because the market chief with a 17.6% share of gross sales.
The South Korean large was intently adopted by Xiaomi, which registered an 80.5% development in its smartphone gross sales in comparison with the identical time final yr and now claims 15.5% of the market. Xiaomi has overtaken Apple within the second place for the primary time, which the corporate’s CEO Lei Jun has hailed as a “main victory”, and which has contributed to the producer reporting report quarterly revenues.
Apple is not trailing far behind, with a 15% market share and gross sales nonetheless rising for the much-sought-after iPhone 12, a 5G-enabled machine launched on the finish of 2020 and which succeeded in convincing many loyal prospects to improve their units this yr.
Regardless of the encouraging numbers, Gartner’s report acknowledges that gross sales have slowed down this quarter because of the ongoing affect of the COVID-19 pandemic. “Bolstered shelter-in-place directions and manufacturing unit shut-downs in India and Vietnam because of the second wave of COVID-19, together with closure of retail companies and restrictions on on-line deliveries affected smartphone gross sales negatively within the second quarter after a robust begin in starting of 2021,” mentioned Gupta.
One other improvement that has the potential to fret smartphone producers is the worldwide scarcity of semiconductors that’s now affecting the supply of most merchandise that require digital elements.
A mixture of exploding demand and restricted provide has contributed to the scarcity of chips, which Gartner has forecasted will final nicely into 2022, and analysts reckon that bottlenecks within the provide of elements will ultimately prohibit development within the smartphone market.
Samsung, which is likely one of the largest producers of semiconductors, has reportedly warned that the difficulty might delay the discharge of a brand new Galaxy Observe smartphone till 2022, whereas Apple acknowledged that development charges would decelerate within the subsequent quarter, partly because of the scarcity of elements.
SEE: One of the best Samsung telephones: Which mannequin must you purchase?
Nonetheless, Gartner has beforehand forecast that this yr will see 1.5 billion units offered around the globe, an 11.4% enhance in comparison with 2020. The prediction aligns with that of IDC, which anticipates that despite the fact that the availability chain scenario is not enhancing, the smartphone market is in an excellent place to resist the shortages and nonetheless ship merchandise.
“The smartphone market was higher ready from a provide chain perspective heading into 2020 given virtually all areas had been anticipating to develop and distributors had been making ready accordingly,” mentioned Ryan Reith, group vp with IDC’s Mobility and Client System Trackers.
“2020 was a bust because of the pandemic however all the prime manufacturers continued ahead with their manufacturing plans with the principle distinction that the timeline was pushed out,” added Reith. “Due to this fact, we’re at some extent the place stock ranges are a lot more healthy than PCs and another adjoining markets and we’re seeing the resilience of shopper demand in current quarterly outcomes.”
Whereas IDC’s forecast is barely extra conservative than Gartner’s, it’s nonetheless optimistic: the agency predicts that shipments of smartphones this yr will attain 1.37 billion items – a 7.4% development in comparison with 2020 – and can proceed to extend in 2022 and 2023.