Global smartphone shipments to hit 1.53 billion units in 2021, below 2019 Levels

News, Smartphones

The COVID-19 pandemic caused the worst smartphone market contraction in history, as global demand plummeted in the first and second quarter of 2020. As a result, annual smartphone shipments dropped by 10% YoY to 1.38 billion units in 2020. Although this year is expected to witness a significant recovery of the entire market, shipments will remain below pre-COVID-19 levels.

According to data presented by, global smartphone shipments are expected to hit 1.53 billion units in 2021, 5 million less than in 2019.

Apple’s and Xiaomi’s Shipments on the Rise, Huawei Witnessed the Biggest Sales Drop

Over the last decade, global smartphone shipments increased significantly. Between 2007 and 2017, annual shipments jumped 12 times, rising from 122 million to over 1.5 billion, revealed Statista and Gartner data. In 2018, smartphone vendors sold more than 1.55 billion smartphones worldwide, the highest figure so far. Over the next twelve months, this figure dropped by 16 million.

However, as half of the world entered a lockdown, demand for new devices fell in the first months of 2020. From the consumer standpoint, unless replacing a broken phone, smartphones are mostly a discretionary purchase, which became unnecessary in times of economic uncertainty. With global demand plummeting, smartphone shipments plunged by 162 million units to 1.38 billion in 2020, below 2015 levels.

Still, not all smartphone vendors were affected by the COVID-19. The IDC and Gartner data showed Apple’s smartphone shipments jumped by 8% YoY to 206.1 million units in 2020. China’s leading technology company, Xiaomi, witnessed even more impressive growth. Statistics show the company sold 147.8 million smartphones last year, 17% more than before the pandemic.

As the market leader, Samsung shipped 266.7 million smartphones in 2020, 9% less than a year ago. The IDC and Gartner data showed Huawei witnessed the biggest sales drop amid the COVID-19 crisis, with global shipments falling by 21% YoY to 189 million units last year.

Global Mobile Phone Revenue to Jump by 5.7% YoY to $504.2B in 2021

The Statista data revealed global mobile phone industry generated over $477bn in revenue last year, $13bn less than before the pandemic struck. However, this figure is forecast to increase by 5.7% YoY and hit $504.2bn in 2021. The increasing trend is set to continue in the following years, with the entire industry reaching $562.6bn value by 2025.

As the world’s largest mobile phone market, China is expected to generate 25% of global revenues this year, or $123.7bn. The United States ranked as the second-largest market with $58.9bn in revenue, two times less than leading China. Brazil, India, and Japan follow with $23.7bn, $23.3bn, and $20.9bn in mobile phone revenues, respectively.

Also, statistics show the average price per unit in the mobile phone industry is forecast to hit $351.38 in 2021, up from $349.67 a year ago. This figure is expected to continue rising to $352.09 in 2022 and then slightly drop to $351.58 by 2025.

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Chris Price
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