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Honor Smartphones Are on the Rise in Capturing 5G Revenue Share, Apple Remains Unrivalled

by Juha Winter | 12月 21, 2021

Mainstream 5G smartphone models have been available globally for some two and a half years, with the Samsung Galaxy S10 5G generally being considered the first broadly available 5G smartphone, launched in April 2019. Since then, essentially all major vendors have introduced a substantial number of 5G smartphone models with varying impact on the market. Apple, for one, waited relatively long to introduce its first 5G line-up, the iPhone 12 series in September 2020. But once it did, it took the majority of 5G smartphone revenue (65% in Q4’20, compared to Huawei at 10% and Samsung at 8%) and has maintained that position essentially all the way to Q3’21 (50% of 5G smartphone revenue share). As of Q3’21, Samsung has 17% 5G smartphone revenue share, Oppo has 7.5%, and Xiaomi 7.4%. Huawei is almost gone, with less than 1% revenue share, but its spin-off brand, Honor, has risen from essentially zero in Q1’21 to nearly 5% in Q3’21.

How is this 5G revenue share reflected in the number of 5G capable smartphone models on the market by each vendor? Recent research from Strategy Analytics’ Smartphone Model Tracker (SMT) reveals that Samsung, Oppo, and Xiaomi each have between 11 and 13 5G smartphone models on the list of the global top-100 most revenue-generating smartphones. Why the top-100? Models in the global top-100 typically have above 0.2% revenue share, each generating above $150m per quarter in revenue in 2021. Although SMT tracks more than 500 globally best-selling (and revenue-generating) smartphone models, for our analysis, the top-100 is quite sufficient. The chart below shows the number of 5G models by vendor appearing in the global top-100 smartphone models by revenue, from Q1’20 to Q3’21.


Sometimes less is more, as proven by Apple. The vendor’s share of 5G revenue has remained high (50+%) and relatively stable over the past three quarters, even though it only had 4 5G models between Q4’20 and Q2’21 and 8 as of Q3’21. The revenue generated by each of these models is completely unrivalled. The only Samsung model to even come close is the Galaxy Z Flip 3 5G, taking 1.5% revenue share in Q3’21.

Interested in more revenue and price-tier analysis of smartphones globally or in any of the 88 countries and 6 regions worldwide covered by SMT? Clients of our service can access the analysis here.

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