Apple will not hold onto its title of the world’s top smartphone maker after the first quarter of 2021, according to a forecast for smartphone shipments from TrendForce. The research firm has claimed that Samsung will again account for the largest share of smartphone sales after surrendering the top spot to Apple in Q4 2020.
TrendForce expects that a total of 342 million smartphones will be shipped in Q1 2021, a 25% year-on-year increase but down slightly from the 364 million units shipped in Q4 2020.
Its data showed that Apple’s previous 77.6 million units – which accounted for a massive 21.3% market share in Q4 2020 – will drop significantly to 54 million in the current quarter, meaning it will claim 15.8% of the market.
While Samsung will regain the number one spot with 62 million units and an 18.1% market share, this will be lower than the 64 million units and 18.4% share it held in Q4 2020.
TrendForce stated that Samsung will have a tough time of retaining this position as several Chinese brands have risen rapidly in recent years.
These include Xiaomi and OPPO, who are expected to hold just above 15% each of the market share this quarter, just short of Apple’s shipments. Vivo is also set to increase its market share from 8.7% to 10.2%.
Huawei on the decline
Meanwhile, Huawei is set to drop out of the top five smartphone makers with a continued decline in shipments due to the ongoing trade ban preventing it from buying hardware and using software from US companies.
While the company has stocked up on chips and managed to stay relevant in the market thus far, TrendForce expects its smartphone sales to shrink drastically by the second half of 2021.
“Going forward, if suppliers of relevant smartphone components are unable to obtain approval to ship to Huawei by the end of Q1 2021, then Huawei is expected to experience a noticeable cutoff of material supplies by the end of Q2 2021,” TrendForce stated.
The table and charts below show the market share of the world’s top six smartphone makers in terms of shipments for Q4 2020 and forecasted shipments in Q1 2021.
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