Just last year, Samsung was leading the global 5G smartphone market. The company had a whopping 94% market share in the US 5G smartphone market. However, things seem to have taken a drastic turn for the company, and Samsung should be quite worried about its latest 5G smartphone shipment numbers.
A recently published report from market research firm Strategy Analytics claims that Samsung has dropped from the first position to fifth position in the global 5G smartphone market. Although the company doubled its shipments from 8.3 million to 17 million in Q1 2021, Samsung’s 5G smartphone market share dropped from 34.6% to 12.7%. That’s because Apple, OPPO, and Vivo have made remarkable improvements. Apple, which had not shipped even a single 5G smartphone in Q1 2020, managed to ship a whopping 40.4 million 5G iPhones in Q1 2021. Its market share reached chart-topping 30.2%.
OPPO shipped 21.5 million 5G smartphones globally in Q1 2021, which is an 1165% (or 11.65x) year-over-year growth. The Chinese firm now has a 16.1% share of the 5G market and is ranked second on the list. Vivo shipped 19.4 million 5G smartphones during the quarter, which is a 646% year-over-year growth compared to Q1 2020 numbers. Xiaomi narrowly missed beating Samsung. The Chinese smartphone giant shipped 16.6 million 5G smartphones in the first quarter of this year and saw a 564% growth compared to last year.
The global 5G smartphone market grew 458% in Q1 2021 compared to last year and over 133.9 million 5G phones were shipped during the period. Although Samsung launched a lot of 5G smartphones over the past year, most of them were priced higher than competing phones from the likes of OPPO, Vivo, and Xiaomi. Apple, on the other hand, launched four high-end 5G smartphones—iPhone 12 mini, iPhone 12, iPhone 12 Pro, and iPhone 12 Pro Max—in Q4 2020.
So, what can Samsung do to improve its 5G smartphone market share? Well, it needs to bring down the prices and launch more 5G smartphones so that they become accessible to more users worldwide. Recently, Samsung launched its cheapest 5G smartphone ever, the Galaxy M42 5G, in India.