Trendforce: Global Smartphone Market to Reach 1.36 Billion Units in 2021 as Samsung regains #1 position

Samsung Electronics Co. is expected to remain the world’s top smartphone producer this year, according to a report by according to market researcher TrendForce.  However, the company’s market share is likely to decrease as other brands will ramp up production with the recovery of mobile demand.

The top six smartphone brands ranked by production volume for 2020, in order, are Samsung, Apple, Huawei, Xiaomi, OPPO, and Vivo. The most glaring change from the previous year is Huawei’s market share.

Thanks to the Chinese government’s aggressive push for 5G commercialization in 2020, global 5G smartphone production for the year reached about 240 million units, a 19% penetration rate, with Chinese brands accounting for almost a 60% market share. While 5G will remain a major topic in the smartphone market this year, various countries will also resume their 5G infrastructure build-out, and mobile processor manufacturers will continue to release entry-level and mid-range 5G chips. As such, the penetration rate of 5G smartphones is expected to undergo a rapid increase to 37% in 2021, for a yearly production of about 500 million units.

Global smartphone production was projected to increase 9 percent on-year to 1.36 billion units in 2021.  Trendforce predicted that device replacement demand and growth in emerging markets will lead to gradual recovery of the smartphone market.

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TrendForce indicates that smartphone brands’ recent bullish outlook towards the 2021 market and their attempt to secure more semiconductor supplies by increasing their smartphone production targets can potentially lead these brands to overbook certain components at foundries. However, smartphone brands may adjust their component inventories from 2Q21 to 3Q21 and reduce their semiconductor procurement activities if actual sales performances fall short of expectations, or if component bottlenecks remain unresolved, leading to a widening inventory gap between bottlenecked and non-bottlenecked parts. Even so, TrendForce still forecasts an above-90% capacity utilization rate for foundries in 2021.

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References:

http://www.trendforce.com/presscenter/news/20210105-10630.html

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