Apple’s iPhone 12 remained atop the global 5G smartphone market during the first quarter of 2021. Apple shipped an estimated 40.4 million iPhone 12 devices. While that was down 23% from the fourth quarter 2020 numbers, when Apple shipped 52.2 million units, the iPhone 12 remained at the top of the market.
While Apple continued to enjoy good sales during Q1 2021, its rivals were able to compete by releasing new 5G handsets.
New data shared by Strategy Analytics shows Chinese vendor Oppo took second place, shipping 21.5 million units for a 15.8% market share, up 55% from the fourth quarter of last year. Fellow Sino-mobile maker Vivo managed to ship 19.4 million units, a 62% gain over the last quarter.
Samsung took fourth place with 17 million 5G handsets shipped, earning it just 12.5% of the market but a sizeable 79% growth in Q4 2020. Xiaomi shipped 16.6 million units during the quarter, taking 12.2% of the market, up 41% quarter-over-quarter.
“Samsung is performing well with new 5G models, such as Galaxy S21 5G, S21 ultra 5G and S21+ 5G, in South Korea, North America, and parts of Europe,” said Ville-Petteri Ukonaho, associate director at Strategy Analytics. “Meanwhile, Apple dipped 23% QoQ, following a blowout Q4 2020 where the new 5G iPhone was wildly popular as a gift during the holiday season.
“We forecast global 5G smartphone shipments to reach a record 624 million units for the full-year 2021, soaring from 269 million in full-year 2020.”
Apple currently only sells mmWave iPhone 12 models in the United States, which adds up to only 30-35% of overall iPhone 12 shipments. Support for sub-6Ghz 5G networks fueled the demand for iPhone 12 models more globally.