Render of the flagship Huawei P50 which has been delayed
According to Digitimes Research, global smartphone shipments will decline during the current quarter (which is the calendar second quarter and runs from April through the end of June). The report said that top brands in the industry including Xiaomi, Oppo, and Vivo, are being impacted by the global chip shortage. As for the first quarter, Digitimes said that the consumer recovery from the start of the pandemic helped smartphone deliveries recover 47% on a year-over-year basis.
The top three phone shippers during the opening three months of this year were Samsung, Apple, and Xiaomi. Sammy shipped 75 million units, an annual gain of 15.9%, and recaptured the top spot from Apple. Shipments of iPhone handsets rose 49.5% during the first quarter to reach 56 million units.
With Huawei no longer the big factor that it once was, several Chinese firms are battling it out to replace the one-time dominating Chinese phone manufacturer. U.S. restrictions preventing the firm from accessing its U.S. supply chain (including Google Mobile Services), and blocking it from obtaining cutting-edge chips, led Huawei to sell its Honor sub-brand. But as it ran out of parts and components during the first quarter of 2021, Huawei saw the number of handsets it shipped during the period decline nearly in half on an annual basis.
But even Xiaomi and Oppo have had to drop their shipment estimates for this year because of the chip shortage and shortages of other parts. Shipments from first tier smartphone brands are expected to decline in the current three month period before business picks up with the launch of new models during the second half of the year. Digitimes Research expects shipments of 1.35-1.4 billion units for all of 2021 which is the approximate number of phones delivered globally in 2019.
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