Samsung expected to retake lead in smartphone sales in Q1 2021: report

Apple's time on top may be short-lived

Apple’s lead over Samsung in smartphone sales may be short-lived, according to a new report from Trend Force.

“Even though the share of high-end models in global smartphone sales shrank in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Apple was able to push through the headwinds and capture market share by introducing 5G models and adopting an aggressive pricing strategy,” the report states.

Apple produced 77.6 million iPhone units in Q4 2020, which is an 85 percent increase quarter-over-quarter and was able to overtake Samsung and rank first.

Trend Force notes that with initial iPhone 12 sales accounted for, the firm believes that Samsung will be able to regain its position in first place due to the launch of the Galaxy S21 series.

The report estimates that Apple’s market share will fall from 21.3 percent to 15.8 percent in the first quarter of the year and that Samsung’s will remain relatively the same, falling from 18.4 percent to 18.1 percent.

Samsung’s performance in the previous quarter was affected by the competition from the new iPhone 12 series, but will be able to regain the top spot with its new Galaxy S21 series.

“Nevertheless, retaining the leadership position will be increasingly challenging for Samsung as it has been losing market share to several Chinese brands that have risen rapidly over these past few years,” Trend Force states.

In order to effectively compete against Chinese brands, the report states that Samsung will maintain high specifications and a price advantage for Galaxy A devices.

Oppo, OnePlus, Realme, Xiaomi and Vivo are expected to maintain an aggressive production target and expand in both overseas and domestic markets.

Source: Trend Force