China Accounted for 67% of Global Handset Production in 2021

The global handset production in 2021 was similar to that a year ago. Although there was a brief rise in production in some regions due to the release of pent-up demand, the negative impact of the COVID-19 pandemic remained throughout the year and did not allow recovery to pre-pandemic levels.

China remained volume leader but future position uncertain

China contributed to 67% of the global handset production in 2021, primarily because Apple and other Chinese OEMs failed to make up for Huawei’s decline in production. In 2020, Huawei accounted for the big portion of the China’s total production. Unlike Huawei, which mostly manufactures its handsets domestically, other Chinese OEMs are seeking to diversify their production sites to fulfil local demand through local production. Apple, which has a high proportion of production in China, is also looking to diversify its production sites. With diminishing demand for handsets in China, the proportion of Chinese production is also expected to decline in the future.

India a distant second with mixed signal for future growth

India accounted for 16% of global handset production in 2021. Production in India, the second largest geography in terms of production volume, rose more than 5% YoY driven by Apple, Xiaomi and OPPO. Taking into consideration Apple’s plan to produce the iPhone 14 in India, the country’s contribution will continue to rise. However, the Indian government’s regulations on low-priced phones made by Chinese OEMs might slow down this trend.

Vietnam third with 10% share, may bag iPhone production

Vietnam accounted for 10% of total global handset production in 2021, similar to that a year ago. Despite Samsung’s increased production in Vietnam, the withdrawal of LG’s smartphone business from the country had a negative effect on production volume, resulting in only a slight increase in production compared to the previous year. As Apple is moving some of its iPad production to Vietnam, the company might transfer some of its iPhone production too, which will then boost overall handset production volume in the country.


Global Handset Production Share by Country


Source: Counterpoint Global Handset Production Report


Apple actively testing locations outside China

Apple is highly dependent on China because a major chunk of its production comes from the country. However, Apple is starting to test its production sites outside China to diversify production and reduce its reliance on the country against the backdrop of the frequent domestic disruptions related to the pandemic and rising US-China tensions. The production of the iPhone 14 in India and iPad in Vietnam seems to be a part of this endeavor. However, it will take a considerable amount of time for any other country to replace the Chinese manufacturing ecosystem.

Samsung strong on diversification

Samsung can now be considered relatively well-diversified in terms of handset manufacturing. Learning from the hardships it faced during the pandemic because of its higher focus on just one country for production, the company will avoid concentration of manufacturing. Additionally, due to the division of global production chains and cost pressure caused by inflation, Samsung will pursue setting up production hubs near its major markets, such as India, Indonesia and Turkey.

Major Chinese OEMs grew in China due to Huawei’s absence

Major Chinese OEMs like Xiaomi, OPPO and vivo, which had been declining or stagnating since 2016, were able to increase their production in China in 2021 because Huawei was held back by US sanctions. Meanwhile, production volume in India increased but its proportion in global production decreased. This might remain if the Indian government continues with its additional regulations on Chinese OEMs. Indonesia is the base for Chinese OEMs in the Southeast Asian market in addition to India, and the proportion of production is expected to increase as the regional market continues to grow.

Unlike the major companies mentioned above, HONOR manufactured most of its handsets in China. The company will diversify its production bases as it looks to enter markets outside China, but, just like Huawei, it will maintain China as its main production hub.


Handset Production in China by Major OEMs(M Units)

Source: Counterpoint Global Handset Production Report



Although the direct impact of the pandemic continues to diminish, geopolitical and macroeconomic issues, such as conflicts and inflation, are preventing the market from recovering. The global handset market is expected to decrease by 8% in 2022 from 2021. Within this broader market, the smartphone market will have a less severe decline because of the increasing transition to smartphones from feature phones. Starting 2023, the handset market is expected to maintain a low single-digit percentage growth.

Considering the market’s reduced growth rate and the continued downward pressure on ASP of handsets, OEMs have an incentive to maintain concentrated production sites to reduce costs.

Despite this incentive, the disruptions caused by the pandemic and increasing geopolitical tensions highlighted the disadvantages of having a concentrated production site, forcing companies to set up multiple production sites.

Currently, there appears to be a balance between these two factors. However, in the long run, as the production concentration outside China increases and cost competitiveness is achieved, handset production outside China will accelerate further.

Q2 2021: India Smartphone Market Stays Resilient During Second COVID-19 Wave, Crosses 33 Million Shipments

  • India’s smartphone market registered its highest ever shipments in H1 2021.
  • Xiaomi led the market in Q2 2021 with a 28% shipment share. The brand registered its highest-ever ASP (average selling price) in a single quarter due to the strong performance of the Mi 11 series.
  • Samsung captured the second spot with an 18% share while vivo captured the third spot with a 15% share.
  • realme became the fastest brand to reach 50 million cumulative smartphone shipments in India.
  • OnePlus led the premium market (>INR 30,000) with a 34% share.

New Delhi, Hong Kong, Seoul, London, Beijing, San Diego, Buenos Aires – July 28, 2021

India’s smartphone shipments grew 82% YoY to reach over 33 million units in Q2 2021, according to the latest research from Counterpoint’s Market Monitor service. However, the market declined 14% sequentially due to a fall in consumer sentiment during the second COVID-19 wave. But the decline was less than expected due to the resilient nature of the smartphone market.

Commenting on the market dynamics, Senior Research Analyst Prachir Singh said, “Smartphone shipments witnessed low volumes during April and May. However, the market saw a pent-up demand in June as restrictions were lifted and stores started to reopen. Offline-centric brands were more affected during April and May as consumers were preferring online channels for purchases. Brands like Xiaomi and realme were able to maintain high volumes leveraging their better online reach. Due to the multiple use-cases and functionalities, the smartphone has become an integral part of daily life and a necessity. The pent-up demand witnessed in June is a testament to that.”

Commenting on the competitive landscape and brand strategies, Research Analyst Monika Sharma said, “Chinese brands held a 79% share. Xiaomi (includes POCO) led the market with a 28% share, followed by Samsung, vivo, realme and OPPO. The Redmi 9 series, as well as the Redmi Note 10 series, drove the shipments for Xiaomi while online-heavy Galaxy M-series and F-series drove the shipments for Samsung. The share of 5G smartphones is constantly increasing, crossing 14% in the June-ended quarter. realme was the top 5G smartphone brand with a 23% share, followed by OnePlus. OnePlus led the premium smartphone market (>INR 30,000) with a 34% share, driven by the newly launched OnePlus 9 series. To expand and serve their consumer base, many brands started home delivery of smartphones during lockdowns via digital platforms like WhatsApp.”

India Smartphone Market Q2 2021

Note: Xiaomi includes POCO brand

India’s mobile handset (feature phone + smartphone) market grew 74% YoY in Q2 2021 but declined 28% QoQ. The feature phone market declined 50% QoQ with the second COVID-19 wave reducing the disposable income of its consumers, who mainly reside in Tier 3 and 4 towns, and rural areas. itel led the feature phone market with a 24% share, followed by Jio, Lava and Samsung. This is the seventh consecutive quarter where itel led the feature phone market.

India Handset Market Q2 2021

Note: Xiaomi includes POCO brand

Market Summary:

  • Xiaomi (includes POCO) retained the top position in the Indian smartphone market with a 28% share driven by the Redmi 9 series and Redmi Note 10 series. Xiaomi captured the top four positions in the Top 5 models list with the Redmi 9A, Redmi 9 Power, Redmi Note 10 and Redmi 9, out of which the top three models clocked more than a million shipments. The Redmi 9A has been the best-selling model for the last three quarters. Xiaomi re-entered the ultra-premium segment with the Mi 11 Ultra powered by Snapdragon 888 chipset. In the premium segment, Xiaomi shipped its highest-ever volumes in Q2 2021, capturing more than 7% of the segment. POCOXiaomi’s sub-brand, registered 480% YoY growth driven by its strong demand in the budget segment. The POCO M3, C3 and X3 Pro were the top models for POCO in Q2 2021. 
  • Samsung remains the second-largest brand in India’s smartphone shipments, registering 25% YoY growth. It remained aggressive in online channels during the quarter. Its online-centric Galaxy M-series and F-series contributed to 66% shipments of the brand in Q2 2021. Samsung reached its highest-ever online share, an indication that the brand’s online channel strategy is working well along with its e-store. Samsung led the upper mid-tier (INR 20,000-INR 30,000) segment driven by the strong performance of the Galaxy A32, A52 and F62.
  • vivo grew 61% YoY and held the third position in Q2 2021. The brand’s share in the premium segment (>INR 30,000) increased to 12%, its highest ever in a single quarter. The newly launched V21 series along with the X60 and IQOO 7 series drove the shipments for the brand. vivo also led the INR 15,000-INR 20,000 price band.
  • realme grew 140% YoY in Q2 2021 and captured the fourth position in the Indian smartphone market. realme is quite aggressive with its 5G push. The brand led the market in 5G smartphone shipments, capturing more than 22% share. It also became the fastest brand to reach 50 million cumulative smartphone shipments in India.
  • OPPO grew 103% YoY and had a 10% market share in Q2 2021. The OPPO F19 Pro Plus was the top 5G smartphone model in the INR 20,000-INR 30,000 price band. OPPO launched an e-store in Q2 2021 to expand its online reach and consumer base. The brand also helped its offline consumer base and channel partners by offering free smartphone deliveries during lockdowns by leveraging digital platforms like WhatsApp.
  • Transsion Group brands (itel, Infinix and TECNO) registered 296% YoY growth, capturing a 7% share collectively in India’s smartphone market. itel remained the top smartphone brand in the sub-INR 6,000 price band. Also, in the sub-INR 8,000 price band, Transsion brands collectively led the market with a 29% share. itel has been leading the feature phone market for the last seven consecutive quarters.
  • Apple witnessed 144% YoY growth in Q2 2021. The brand maintained its leading position in the ultra-premium segment (>INR 45,000 or ~$650) with more than 49% share. Continued strong demand for the iPhone 11 coupled with aggressive offers on the iPhone 12 series were the driving factors for this growth. 
  • OnePlus grew more than 200% YoY in Q2 2021 driven by the OnePlus 9 Series. The brand led the premium market with a 34% share. OnePlus captured three spots in the top five smartphone models in India’s premium market. It was also the top 5G smartphone brand in the premium segment in Q2 2021, capturing a 48% share.

The comprehensive and in-depth Q2 2021 Market Monitor is available for subscribing clients. Feel free to contact us at press(at) for questions regarding our latest research and insights.

The Market Monitor research relies on sell-in (shipments) estimates based on vendor’s IR results and vendor polling, triangulated with sell-through (sales), supply chain checks and secondary research.

You can also visit our Data Section (updated quarterly) to view the smartphone market share globally and for the USChina and India.


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 industry.

Analyst Contacts:

Prachir Singh

Monika Sharma

Tarun Pathak

Karn Chauhan

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Apple & Samsung dominate UK smartphone Market in 3Q17

Top five smartphones brands account for almost 80% of the smartphone sales in Q3 2017

New Delhi, Mumbai, Hong Kong, Seoul, London, Buenos Aires – November 22nd, 2017

According to the latest research from Counterpoint’s Market Pulse service, UK smartphones sales remained flat annually in Q3 2017, while the overall handset market (including feature phones) declined by 8% year on year.

Commenting on the findings, Parv Sharma, Research Associate at Counterpoint Research said, “Apple continued to lead the smartphone market with just over 34% share despite sales declining sequentially. Samsung was the second largest brand, slightly behind Apple, with flat market share YoY. The Chinese giant Huawei was the third largest brand, with consistent double-digit market share, leveraging a diverse portfolio across all price-tiers, but still some distance behind Samsung and Apple that represent something approaching a virtual duopoly. LIke we see in the US market, Apple & Samsung together control more than two thirds of the UK smartphone market in sales volumes and more than 80% in sales value.”

Exhibit 1: UK Smartphone Sales Ranking and Market Share – Q3 2017

Source: Counterpoint Research: Quarterly Market Pulse Q3 2017

Commenting on premium smartphone market Research Director, Peter Richardson, said, “The UK is one of the strongest markets for Apple globally and this is reflected in the premium segment’s share of the market overall. Despite Apple being at the tail-end of a product cycle through most of 3Q, the premium segment (>USD 500 wholesale) still grew both in terms of volume and value, while the overall market volume fell. Apple dominated the premium segment and was the main contributor to overall market value share – especially as the Average Selling Price (ASP) of the newly launched iPhone 8 was higher than the iPhone 7’s launch price. Samsung also enjoyed a strong position, accounting for almost one third of the premium market volume during the quarter. Apple and Samsung together leave very little room for other players.”

Further commenting on the bestselling smartphones Peter Richardson added, “The Apple iPhone 7 was the bestselling smartphone and contributed to 15% of the total smartphones sold in Q3 2017. Samsung’s Galaxy S8 and S8 Plus were second and third. Samsung also has a strong range across all price bands and it, together with Huawei, provided a strong volume platform that was resilient to attack from most other brands.”

Speaking about UK distribution channels, Peter Richardson said, “The UK operators and retailers have developed one of the best multi-channel distribution systems worldwide; few other countries offer quite the same level of sophistication. However, the limited range of brands offered in volume by the main operators means that market share is concentrated among just a few players. We don’t see this changing any time soon as distribution power is, if anything, being increasingly focused among the main operators.”

Exhibit 2: UK Bestselling Smartphone Rankings – Q3 2017

Source: Counterpoint Research: Quarterly Market Pulse Q3 2017

Market Summary

  • UK handset market declined 8% YOY in Q3 2017.
  • Smartphone penetration reached 93% of all the mobile phones sold in the quarter.
  • Top 5 brands account for almost 80% of the smartphone sales in Q3 2017.
  • Apple continues to be the bestselling brand followed by Samsung. Chinese vendors Huawei, Alcatel and Motorola capture the next position in the UK smartphone market.
  • In the premium segment Apple led the smartphone market followed by Samsung.

Contact us at for further questions regarding our latest in-depth research, insights or press enquiries.

Fujitsu to sell its handset business – will there be more to follow?

Fujitsu to sell its handset business – will there be more to follow?

Rumors are spreading that Japan’s Fujitsu has decided to sell its subsidiary operating the mobile phone business. The bidding process may start next month. Fujitsu already categorized its mobile phone business as non-core and spun-off the division into a subsidiary in February 2016. Fujitsu has now decided to sell-off the entire handset business.

In early 2000, there were about 11 Japanese companies involved in the handset sector, including Fujitsu. Japanese handset makers grew to almost 20% of the global handset market at its peak. The domestic market was dominated by these local brands. Japanese brands ruled the local market with more than 80% for a long time. Since 2009, however, Japanese makers began to struggle due to the rapid growth of Apple. Japanese makers slowly exited the global market and their share declined. This happened even in the Japanese market to around 30%.

Japan Handset Market Share by OEM origin


Macroeconomic factors of the Japanese economy seem to have influenced the Japanese mobile phone companies to some extent. The aging of the Japanese society progressed rapidly and Japanese companies showed a tendency to avoid big changes. Japanese makers focused more on feature phones, despite the fact that smart phones were already attracting attention. And this tendency of Japanese companies continued until 2016.

2009 is the year the Japanese handset market had finally started to change from a feature phone market to smartphones. Yet Japanese companies did not respond actively. This phenomenon accelerated each year and now the share of smartphones sold among overall handsets has exceeded 90% for the first time during 2017. Of the original 11 Japanese mobile phone companies in early 2000, only five companies, remain including Sony and Kyocera.

External changes in the market are important but the response or internal strategies of a company are important factors determining success and failure as well. Japanese companies are building a product portfolio centered on mid- to low-end products, so operating margins are lower than previous generation products. Japanese makers have fallen into a vicious cycle in which they are forced to change their R & D investment more conservatively due to a drop in market share and a drop in sales margin. Considering the needs of customers, investing in the latest technology is an important factor to succeed in the mobile phone business.

According to our analysis on model sales, only Sony has a 50:50 ratio of premium and mid-tier phones, while Sharp and Kyocera focus on mid-tier products in the Japanese market. Currently Sharp and Kyocera’s earnings are not bad as demand for mid-end phones has soared since the transition from feature phones to smartphones has been rapid. However, in the a long-term, demand for premium phones may rise as first time smartphone users show a trade-up trend. If Japanese makers do not act accordingly, more may follow Fujitsu’s exit.

The Japanese handset market is changing – The proliferation of smartphones, Price diversification, and the exit of marginal players

Analysis of the handset market share in the Japanese market clearly shows that the market is changing. In 2016, Fujitsu’s market share in Japan was about 7%, ranking fourth, and Fujitsu’s main products were targeting the >$400 price band. Customers belonging to the >$400 price band will likely be absorbed by Apple, Sony and Samsung.

[2017 Q2 Japanese Smartphone Shipments]

Apple, the strongest player in Japanese market, is also targeting the mid-range market with its iPhone SE and iPhone 6. Failure to fully address all segments of the market will lead to remaining players getting squeezed out almost entirely.

Infographic: The Q2 Handset/Smartphone Market in One Page

Below is one of the infographics we update quarterly to summarize the events each quarter for the handset and smartphone market. The data comes from our Q2 2014 quarterly Market Monitor report.

This quarter it was all about the rise of local brands such as Xiaomi, Micromax cropping across parts of Asia, Europe and Latin America. These are becoming a big threat to incumbents such as Samsung, LG, Nokia and others as they chip away marketshare in smartphones and featurephones segment. Which are these brands? Why and How these brands have become successful? What does future hold for these brands and the competition?

Please feel free to reach out to us for press or this research related questions at analyst (at) 

P.S. For the high quality PDF version please send an email request to info(at)

Q2-2014-Global Mobile Market Monitor V4

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