Apple returns as top global smartphone player in Q4 2021

New Delhi, Jan 19 (IANS) Apple has piped Samsung to take the top position in the global smartphone market in the festive quarter (Q4) of 2021, a new report showed on Wednesday.

Apple is back at the top of the smartphone market after three quarters, driven by a stellar performance from the iPhone 13, reports market research firm Canalys.

Apple accounted for 22 per cent of worldwide smartphone shipments in Q4 2021, but overall shipments for the quarter grew just 1 per cent, as vendors faced supply chain problems and a resurgence in Covid-19 cases.

Samsung took second place, down from the top spot in Q3 2021, with a market share of 20 per cent.

Xiaomi maintained its third-place position with a 12 per cent.

“Apple saw unprecedented iPhone performance in Mainland China, with aggressive pricing for its flagship devices keeping the value proposition strong,” said Canalys analyst Sanyam Chaurasia.

Apple’s supply chain is starting to recover, but it was still forced to cut production in Q4 amid shortages of key components and could not make enough iPhones to meet demand.

“In prioritised markets, it maintained adequate delivery times, but in some markets its customers had to wait to get their hands on the latest iPhones,” Chaurasia added.

Supply chain disruption affected low-end vendors the most.

“Component manufacturers are eking out additional production, but it will take years for major foundries to significantly increase chip capacity,” said Canalys VP Mobility, Nicole Peng.

According to the report, smartphone brands are already innovating to make the most of their circumstances, tweaking device specs in response to available materials.

“These practices lend an advantage to larger brands, and they are set to stay for the short term, as bottlenecks will not ease until the second half of 2022,” Peng added.



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