Apple's iPhone accounted for 42% of global smartphone revenue in Q1 2021

Apple's iPhone accounted for 42% of global smartphone revenue in Q1 2021
Holiday quarters aside, Apple has never been and likely never will be the world’s number one smartphone manufacturer by volume. But is that really a bad thing? The latest market data suggests it isn’t.

The iPhone accounted for 42% of revenue but only 17% of shipments

An extensive report from Counterpoint Research reveals that Apple generated a whopping 42% of all smartphone revenue (estimated to be $113 billion) in Q1 2021, despite accounting for just 16.8% of global shipments.

That’s a record first-quarter revenue share for Apple. A year earlier, when the COVID-19 pandemic started spreading across the world, Apple shipped 13.6% of all smartphones and generated 34.4% of revenue.

Counterpoint says the brand’s performance can be attributed to the success of the iPhone 12 series and a so-called demand spill-over from the delayed launch in Q4 2020. The iPhone 12 Pro Max played a particularly important role in boosting Apple’s revenue share, per the report, thanks to its strong performance in both Europe and the US.

Just yesterday, Apple reported record March quarter revenue of $89.6 billion, up 54% year-over-year. The iPhone alone accounted for $47.94 billion of that total, up 65.5% year-over-year.

Samsung's share of revenue fell, despite an early Galaxy S21 launch

Samsung followed in second place when it comes to smartphone revenue, with a share of 17.5%. That’s far from unimpressive, but the figure is down on the 20.2% it captured in Q1 2020.

Interestingly, Samsung’s share of shipments rose from 19.9% a year ago to 21.7%, according to the data shared by Counterpoint. That suggests Samsung’s mid-range and budget Galaxy A devices accounted for a higher share of shipments this year.

Nevertheless, the success of the Galaxy S21 series was highlighted, as was Samsung’s dominant position in the niche foldable smartphone segment, which is expected to see more competition from Huawei, Xiaomi, and others later this year.

Oppo, Vivo, and Xiaomi completed the top 5

Xiaomi accounted for 13.7% of all smartphone shipments between January and March 2021. However, its continued focus on the entry-level segment meant that it generated just 7.6% of revenue. The brand has been pushing into the premium flagship segment recently, though, and in Europe especially it could give the brand a welcome boost in the revenue department.

Ahead of Xiaomi in terms of revenue was Oppo. It generated 8.2% of global smartphone revenue with a shipment market share of 10.7%. Both numbers are up significantly from the 5.8% of revenue and 7.6% of shipments reported in the first quarter of 2020.

Counterpoint says Oppo’s success is primarily down to its aggressive expansion in Europe, which follows Huawei’s fall from grace, and the strong momentum of the Oppo A and Oppo Find lineups.

Following closely behind Oppo was Vivo, with an 8.0% share of the revenue pie and 10% of the shipments market. The brand’s flagship Vivo X60 series has performed well.

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