5G Devices Capture Over Two-thirds of Global Smartphone Revenue in Q1 2021

5G, the new frontier in telecommunications technology, is being adopted faster than its predecessor, 4G. Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, we are observing a resilient and consistent rise in 5G smartphone penetration in every region. 5G devices captured more than two-thirds (69%) of global smartphone revenue in Q1 2021, with their shipments reaching 39% of the global total for the quarter, according to Counterpoint’s Quarterly Market Monitor service.

Exhibit 1: Global Smartphone Revenue and Shipment Share of 5G, Q1 2021

Global Smartphone Revenue and Shipment Share of 5G Q1 2021
Source: Counterpoint Research Market Monitor, Q1 2021

The launch of Apple’s 5G capable iPhone 12 series in Q4 2020 gave a boost to the 5G smartphone market. The momentum continued in Q1 2021 when 5G smartphone shipments grew 7% QoQ despite total shipments declining 10% QoQ.

Although Apple declined QoQ in Q1 2021, it did not slow down as much as expected due to pent-up demand and operator promotions. Further, Apple’s decline was offset by the growth of 5G portfolio of other OEMs across price tiers. Samsung launched its flagship S21 series while Xiaomi’s flagship Mi 11 series was also available during the quarter. Lenovo, vivo, OPPO and realme, all saw impressive growth in both 5G smartphone revenues and shipments, powered by their low- to mid-range 5G offerings.
That said, Apple still recorded the highest 5G smartphone revenue and shipment share in Q1 2021.

Exhibit 2: Global Smartphone Revenue and Shipment Share of 5G by OEMs, Q1 2021

Global Smartphone Revenue and Shipment Share of 5G by OEMs Q1 2021
Source: Counterpoint Research Market Monitor, Q1 2021

In terms of regions, China is still the largest 5G market both by revenue and volume, powered by low- to mid-tier offerings. Brands like realme are becoming the key to unlocking 5G accessibility for the masses.

The adoption of 5G, until now, has been driven by the flagship segment. The next part in the 5G adoption story will be convincing the rest of the smartphone user base, which is either price-conscious or utility-driven or both, to shift to 5G. This will depend on OEMs bringing in budget 5G smartphones, governments implementing conducive policies, and a growing basket of 5G use cases to convince users, especially in emerging markets.

Note: Preliminary revenue, based on wholesale pricing.

Related Posts

Counterpoint research is a young and fast growing research firm covering analysis of the tech industry. Coverage areas are connected devices, digital consumer goods, software & applications and other adjacent topics. We provide syndicated research reports as well as tailored. Our seminars and workshops for companies and institutions are popular and available on demand. Consulting and customized work on the above topics is provided for high precision projects.

Term of Use and Privacy Policy

Counterpoint Technology Market Research Limited


In order to access Counterpoint Technology Market Research Limited (Company or We hereafter) Web sites, you may be asked to complete a registration form. You are required to provide contact information which is used to enhance the user experience and determine whether you are a paid subscriber or not.
Personal Information When you register on we ask you for personal information. We use this information to provide you with the best advice and highest-quality service as well as with offers that we think are relevant to you. We may also contact you regarding a Web site problem or other customer service-related issues. We do not sell, share or rent personal information about you collected on Company Web sites.

How to unsubscribe and Termination

You may request to terminate your account or unsubscribe to any email subscriptions or mailing lists at any time. In accessing and using this Website, User agrees to comply with all applicable laws and agrees not to take any action that would compromise the security or viability of this Website. The Company may terminate User’s access to this Website at any time for any reason. The terms hereunder regarding Accuracy of Information and Third Party Rights shall survive termination.

Website Content and Copyright

This Website is the property of Counterpoint and is protected by international copyright law and conventions. We grant users the right to access and use the Website, so long as such use is for internal information purposes, and User does not alter, copy, disseminate, redistribute or republish any content or feature of this Website. User acknowledges that access to and use of this Website is subject to these TERMS OF USE and any expanded access or use must be approved in writing by the Company.
– Passwords are for user’s individual use
– Passwords may not be shared with others
– Users may not store documents in shared folders.
– Users may not redistribute documents to non-users unless otherwise stated in their contract terms.

Changes or Updates to the Website

The Company reserves the right to change, update or discontinue any aspect of this Website at any time without notice. Your continued use of the Website after any such change constitutes your agreement to these TERMS OF USE, as modified.
Accuracy of Information: While the information contained on this Website has been obtained from sources believed to be reliable, We disclaims all warranties as to the accuracy, completeness or adequacy of such information. User assumes sole responsibility for the use it makes of this Website to achieve his/her intended results.

Third Party Links: This Website may contain links to other third party websites, which are provided as additional resources for the convenience of Users. We do not endorse, sponsor or accept any responsibility for these third party websites, User agrees to direct any concerns relating to these third party websites to the relevant website administrator.

Cookies and Tracking

We may monitor how you use our Web sites. It is used solely for purposes of enabling us to provide you with a personalized Web site experience.
This data may also be used in the aggregate, to identify appropriate product offerings and subscription plans.
Cookies may be set in order to identify you and determine your access privileges. Cookies are simply identifiers. You have the ability to delete cookie files from your hard disk drive.