Apple’s top ranking in global smartphone production is forecast to be short lived
Apple was the top smartphone manufacturer worldwide during Q4 2020
During the final quarter of last year, Samsung garnered 18.4% of connected handset production. While TrendForce sees this figure declining to 18.1% for the current period, it would still give Sammy a healthy lead over Apple for the January through March period. The research firm expects Samsung to roll 62 million phones off of the assembly line during the current quarter. Led by the Galaxy A series, which includes models across the high, mid, and low-end spectrums of the smartphone marketplace, TrendForce sees Samsung finishing 2021 on top. The Galaxy A line will compete against the value for money phones coming out of China as Samsung keeps the specs for Galaxy A models high, and pricing for these devices low.
The research firm says that with chip supplies tight, the difference between peak and off-seasons will not be as easy to determine as they usually are and quarter-over-quarter comparisons will be smaller than normal. From the 363.3 million units produced during the fourth quarter of 2020, TrendForce predicts that a total of 342.1 million smartphones will be manufactured during the current quarter.
The bottom line is that there have been plenty of unusual events that have impacted the smartphone market over the last two years starting with Huawei’s placement on the Entity List in 2019, the chip ban and the pandemic in 2020. The lasting effect of this will be the shakeup in China as the world’s largest smartphone market reacts to Huawei’s decline.