Global Smartphone Revenue Hits Record ~$450 Billion in 2021; Apple Captures Highest Ever Share in Q4 2021

  • Apple led the global smartphone market revenues in 2021 with annual revenue of $196 billion.
  • The top five smartphone brands contributed more than 85% of the total smartphone revenue.
  • Apple, realme and Motorola recorded their highest ever quarterly revenues in Q4 2021.
  • Global smartphone ASP increased by 12% YoY in Q4 2021, driven by the iPhone 13 series.

New Delhi, Hong Kong, Seoul, London, Beijing, San Diego, Denver, Buenos Aires – February 25, 2022

The global smartphone market revenue crossed $448 billion in 2021, according to the latest research from Counterpoint’s Market Monitor Service. It grew 7% YoY and 20% QoQ even as component shortages and COVID-19 restrictions continued to disrupt supply chains around the world.

Smartphone average selling price (ASP) grew 12% YoY to reach $322, mainly due to a higher share of 5G smartphones, which have a significantly higher ASP than the 4G models, as well as Apple’s successful launch of its iPhone 13 devices. Besides, more 5G-enabled models were released in 2021 as OEMs such as Xiaomi, vivo, OPPO and realme focused on fulfilling a greater demand for affordable 5G smartphones in emerging markets such as India, Southeast Asia, LATAM and Eastern Europe. As a result, 5G-enabled smartphones contributed more than 40% of the global smartphone shipments in 2021, compared to 18% in 2020.

There has also been a global increase in demand for mid-range and premium smartphones due to the pandemic-linked education, work and entertainment from home convincing some consumers to upgrade their devices for a better overall experience. Lastly, the global shortage of smartphone components has also led major OEMs to increase the retail prices of some of their entry and mid-tier smartphones.

Smartphone Market Revenue by Top 5 Brands, 2017-2021 (in $ billions)

  • Apple’s iPhone revenue increased 35% YoY to $196 billion in 2021. It captured 44% of total global smartphone revenue in 2021. The high demand for 5G-enabled iPhone 12 and 13 series helped Apple register 14% growth in its overall ASP, which reached $825 in 2021. The brand also managed to increase its share in key emerging markets such as India, Thailand, Vietnam and Brazil.
  • Samsung’s smartphone revenue increased 11% YoY to reach $72 billion in 2021, compared to $64 billion in 2020. Its ASP grew 5% to $263 in 2021. Samsung managed to increase its global market share in the mid and premium segments with the launch of the Galaxy S flagship series and increase in the share of 5G phones. 2021 also witnessed the launch of two foldable smartphones — Samsung Galaxy Z Fold3 5G and Z Flip3, which also nudged the overall revenue higher. Samsung shipped three times more foldable devices in 2021 than in 2020.
  • Xiaomi’s revenue increased 49% YoY to reach $36 billion in 2021, compared to $24 billion in 2020, mainly due to the increase in shipments and market share for its mid and premium segment smartphones such as the Mi 11x series. In India, the brand’s biggest market, the smartphones priced at $250 and above grew 39% YoY to account for more than 14% of Xiaomi’s India market, compared to 8% in 2020.
  • OPPO* saw a revenue increase of 47% YoY to $37 billion. Its ASP grew 15% YoY to reach $259 in 2021. The brand saw an increase in shipments in the $400-$599 and $600-$799 price bands, mainly owing to strong demand for the Reno 6 series, Find X3 and OnePlus 9 series. 5G-enabled smartphones contributed more than 50% of the brand’s yearly shipments in 2021 against 28% in 2020. OPPO* also managed to expand its presence in mature markets such as China, Japan and parts of Europe (including Nordic countries), which drove the higher revenue and ASP. OnePlus revenue grew 33% YoY in 2021 driven by the OnePlus Nord series and OnePlus 9.
  • vivo’s revenue increased 43% YoY to $34 billion. Its ASP grew 19% YoY to reach $259 in 2021. The brand ranked as the fifth-largest smartphone vendor in 2021 both in terms of revenue and shipments. vivo’s revenue performance was driven by the well-received flagship X60 and S series, exceptional performance in China and a wide product portfolio spread across all price bands.

* Note: OPPO includes OnePlus since Q3 2021

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Counterpoint Technology Market Research is a global research firm specializing in products in the TMT (technology, media, and telecom) industry. It services major technology and financial firms with a mix of monthly reports, customized projects, and detailed analyses of the mobile and technology markets. Its key analysts are seasoned experts in the high-tech