Global smartphone shipments figures for the first quarter of this year, put out by UK-based consultant, Strategic Analytics indicate that already some 340 million units have been shipped across the world.
According to them, the figure represents a 24 per cent increase year-on-year, and the highest growth in smartphone shipment since 2015.
The report said the growth was largely driven by replacement of older devices and a push of 5G models by Chinese vendors.
The Chinese smartphone market alone recorded 34 per cent growth, reaching 94 million units.
Strategic Analytics mentioned the top five vendors as Samsung; Apple; Xiaomi; Oppo; and Vivo. The five accounted for 76 per cent of global shipments, compared with 71 per cent in Q1 2020.
The report noted that this was in spite of the fact that the vendors had to deal with chip shortages and supply constraints.
Samsung maintained its leading position, with shipments of 77 million smartphones up 32 per cent driven by the A-series and its 5G portfolio.
Apple’s growth was supported by the iPhone 12, with total shipments of 57 million units, while Xiaomi held on to number three in the rankings for the second quarter in a row, shipping 49 million.
Oppo shipped 38 million, up from 23 million in Q1 2020, and Vivo 37 million versus 20 million.
Huawei was conspicuously missing from the top three where it has been for many years until US sanctions hit hard in 2020.
The Chinese tech giant therefore found itself in the “others” segment, which overall accounted for 82 million units in the recent quarter, down from 107 million.
Due to sanctions all over the world, with its attendant denial of the usage of any US patented technology for smartphone manufacture, Huawei’s smartphone manufacture was slashed drastically.
Huawei has said it is looking for non-US alternatives to bring its handset manufacture back on track. Already, Huawei has introduced its own operating system, Harmony OS, after losing access to Google’s Android. But it still have some challenges getting access to other implements without risking a patent-related lawsuit.