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Samsung on Track to Keep top spot as 2022 Global Smartphone Shipments Post Modest Growth

by David Kerr | Dec 01, 2021

Strategy Analytics has significantly lowered 2022 smartphone shipment numbers in its latest forecast by vendor through to end of 2022.

Smartphone Shipments are expected to grow 7% QOQ in Q4 2021 bringing full year to 1.34 billion units.  

Market and vendor performance in Q3 2021 was weaker than expected, indicating the escalated supply constraints and weaker consumer spending power have started to impact the smartphone market in a big way. We expect the trend will continue especially in 1H 2022. 

We predict global smartphone shipments will maintain a recovery phase in 2022 (1.41 billion units) and back to pre-COVID-19 levels in 2019

We have lowered many OEM shipment forecasts for the full year 2021 and 2022. Most notably, we expect Apple and Xiaomi to see pullbacks. We have also cut our outlook for Reliance Jio smartphone shipments given higher than expected price points and lack of subsidies.

Our latest analysis projects Samsung will keep the top spot in global smartphones through a recovery year in 2022. 

Samsung is on track to retain its leadership position despite expected strong growth from Apple led by 5G. Apple leads in global 5G smartphone shipments in both 2021 and 2022.  Apple 12 5G was the top 5G model through the first two quarters of 2021 on a global basis before the launch of iPhone 13. Q3 global model level for 5G to be published soon in our model tracker program.

Global 5G smartphones are among the bright spots in the industry.  5G will continue healthy growth in 2022 to account for two of three smartphones shipped worldwide. Samsung, currently the 5th largest 5G smartphone vendor, will gather momentum and lead in Android 5G smartphone shipments in 2022.
Samsung will continue to get a boost from foldables where it is without doubt the key innovator and category leader and a long way ahead of competitors     

Globally 5 brands achieved double digit smartphone shipment share on a global basis in 2021 versus only 2 in 2019.

These 5 are Samsung, Apple, Xiaomi, Oppo and vivo. Previous juggernaut Huawei dropped from its peak in Q2 2020 at almost 20% due to geopolitics and is struggling to stay above 1% now. 

With slowing demand in China and rapid maturation of 5G as a share of sales, the big question is whether the remaining Chinese vendors can grow enough internationally to sustain their impressive rise? 

Can Transsion break the 10% share barrier in 2022? Will Honor match or pass realme?

This report forecasts global smartphone shipments by region by quarter for 38 of the world's largest vendors from 2015 to 2022. Global handset and feature phone shipment by vendor by quarter forecast data are also included in the report. 

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