Podcast – Global Smartphone Market: Musical Chairs

The global smartphone market has been through a bumpy ride during the last couple of years — US sanctions on Huawei, COVID-19, ongoing component shortages and LG’s exit to name a few. Some smartphone makers, such as Huawei, LG and Samsung, have been impacted more than others by these events. At the same time, Chinese smartphone makers like Xiaomi, OPPO, vivo and OnePlus have benefited from the events by filling the void.

The US postpaid market is heavily dominated by Apple and Samsung, whereas the prepaid market has players like Nokia HMD, Motorola and Alcatel. LG’s exit from the market has opened opportunities for others. Similarly, in the absence of Huawei, Xiaomi has been dominating in Europe, driven by CIS markets. It also briefly surpassed Samsung to become the top smartphone vendor globally. OPPO, realme and vivo are also gaining share in Europe, China, India and the SEA. The MEA market is also getting interesting where Transsion Group’s TECNO, itel and Infinix are gaining share.

In the latest episode of ‘The Counterpoint Podcast’, host Maurice Klaehne is joined by senior analyst Harmeet Singhwalia and analyst Aman Chaudhary to discuss the changing dynamics of the global smartphone market. The discussion deep-dives into different regions, from the US to Europe, Asia, SEA and MEA, to highlight the top smartphone vendors and their strategies.

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You can download the podcast transcript here.

Podcast Chapter Markers

01:50: Samsung has been the top smartphone vendor globally, but last year we saw Huawei surpassing it briefly, and this year it is Xiaomi. So, how are the dynamics changing globally?

6:22: How has LG’s exit impacted the US prepaid smartphone market?

11:14: Huawei was a big player in Europe, so who are the beneficiaries in the region, and how are the dynamics changing there?

15:52: China is the world’s biggest smartphone market where Huawei has control with over 30% share. But with Huawei facing production difficulties after the US sanctions, how has the China smartphone market changed?

20:51: We move to India where Xiaomi is holding steady for several quarters, and brands like realme are the fastest growing. While COVID-19 lockdowns affected offline sales, what are brands like Samsung doing to regain share?

26:32: The SEA region is getting very interesting as it is turning to be a production hub for companies like Samsung. The MEA region, on the other hand, is seeing a shift from feature phones to smartphones. What can you tell us about the smartphone market in these regions?

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