Counterpoint: Global Smartphone Market Forecast 2021

Tech In China
2 min readOct 17, 2021

According to Counterpoint Research’s latest global smartphone quarterly shipment forecast, smartphone shipments in 2021 are expected to grow by only 6% year-on-year to 1.41 billion units.

Counterpoint previously predicted that the growth rate of smartphone shipments in 2021 will be 9%, roughly 1.45 billion units. After Covid’s severe impact on the market, the smartphone industry originally expected a strong rebound this year.

Smartphone manufacturers began to increase their orders for parts and components at the end of 2020. Consumers’ unmet demand in 2020 has driven the market growth in Q1’21.

However, some smartphone OEMs and sellers said that their key component orders were only met by 80% in Q2’21, and the situation got worse in Q3’21.

In addition, some smartphone manufacturers said that their component orders were only met by 70%, and the shortage of supply caused many problems in production. Counterpoint Research believes that 90% of industry players will be affected, which will make an impact on shipments in the second half of 2021.

Since Q4’20, semiconductor shortages have plagued the market, but the smartphone industry can still achieve growth despite the shortage of components such as DDI and PMIC. This growth is mainly due to the enhancement of the supply chain management and component inventory management of mobile phone manufacturers, including the advanced storage of components such as application processors (AP) and camera sensors. The value of these components is usually higher than that of DDI and PMIC.

Tom Kang, Research Director of Counterpoint Research, commented: “The shortage of semiconductors will affect all brands in the industry. Samsung, Oppo, and Xiaomi are all affected, and we are lowering our forecasts. However, Apple seems to be the most resilient, being the company that is least affected by AP shortages.”




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