According to research firm Strategy Analytics, Apple shipped approximately 40.4 million 5G-compatible iPhones in the first quarter of 2021, taking a 29.8% share of the global market.
The second place goes to Oppo, which shipped 21.5 million units for a market share of 15.8% in the same period, up 55% compared to the last quarter of 2020. Vivo managed 19.4 million of shipments, getting 14.3%, while Samsung hit 17 million units for a slice of the pie of 12.5%.
Sales of Vivo and Samsung grew 62% and 79% respectively. Xiaomi, which shipped 16.6 million 5G phones during the quarter, took 12.2% of the market, up 41% quarter-over-quarter. "Samsung is doing well with new 5G models, such as the Galaxy S21 5G, S21 Ultra 5G and S21 + 5G, in South Korea, North America and parts of Europe," said Ville-Petteri Ukonaho, associate director of Strategy Analytics. "Meanwhile, Apple was down 23% quarter-over-quarter, following a boom in the fourth quarter of 2020, when the new 5G iPhones were very popular for the holiday season."
Strategy Analytics predicts global shipments of 5G smartphones will reach 624 million units in 2021, a marked increase from 269 million in 2020. Apple launched its first series of 5G phones last fall, with the iPhone 12, iPhone 12 Pro, iPhone 12 Pro Max and iPhone 12 mini.
The presence of mmWave 5G technology in the United States alone has not limited its diffusion, thanks to access to bands below 6 GHz on models sold in Europe and China.
Apple is expected to bring support for the notoriously faster 5G mmWave to many more countries with the fall launch of the iPhone 13 family.