One year after the abrupt coronavirus lockdowns that put the smartphone industry to a near halt, the market has bounced back in the first quarter of 2021, but while most companies grew their sales, one of the biggest phone makers has dropped out of the top 5.
Yes, we are talking about Huawei, which is nowhere to be seen on the elite top five list. The Chinese company was placed on the US Government Entity List in May 2019, blocking its access to Google apps and US made components. And while Huawei was able to maintain momentum in about the first year after the ban, Q1 2021 is when it has now dropped out of the biggest phone makers list.
Q1 2021 vs Q1 2020: Phone Shipments Report
*Data by Strategy Analytics, numbers are preliminary.
Interestingly, at number 4 and number 5 on the list are Oppo and Vivo, two companies that are practically unknown in the United States and Europe. Their meteoric rise seems driven by a big surge in demand for 5G phones in China and other Asian markets.
Things are definitely changing in the smartphone market: LG has recently dropped out, and the expansion of Chinese brands continues, so we’ll be curious to see how that works out throughout 2021 and whether the advent of 5G will provide a sustained boost to the industry.