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Monthly Market Pulse - March 2021

May 1, 2021 | Author : Varun Mishra


  • Demand Improves in almost all regions except China; Excess Q4 sell-in depleted mostly in Q1 2021.
    • Demand improved month on month in almost all regions except China, which continues to be sluggish.
    • US market was helped by the promotions, government stimulus and Apple’s longevity.
    • India also grew in March, but COVID cases in India are rising steeply. The government is imposing restrictions, which will likely impact smartphone demand in the coming months.
    • Samsung, Xiaomi, Apple, OPPO, Vivo all had a robust quarter in terms of sell-in as supply chain players prioritized larger brands against the smaller OEMs, which, as a result, were affected by the shortages the most. This could result in shortages in the prepaid segments in the countries like the US.
    • The excess sell-in during Q4 last year has depleted mostly during Q1 2021.
  • Vivo tops China Market; Xiaomi tops Spain Market; Oppo, Vivo, Xiaomi saw record Quarterly Sales
    • Vivo held its share globally and went on to become the #1 OEM in the China market in March. It was also the top 5G OEM in China. This was driven by strong performance of affordable models S9 and Y3. Vivo was also the number one 5G OEM in China. We were already monitoring this trend closely in our China weekly data, where Vivo became number one for the first time in week 11 (March 8-14) of 2021.
    • Xiaomi’s sales increased 3% month on month driven by the strong performance of Redmi 9A and K40 series. Xiaomi continues to expand in the markets outside China. It surpassed Samsung to become the #1 smartphone OEM in Spain for the first time in March 2021.
    • OPPO, vivo, Xiaomi all had a record sales quarter in Q1 2021. They were aggressively trying to fill the gap left by Huawei and Honor in China as well as expand strategically in overseas markets like SEA, Europe and LATAM. They were also somewhat immune to component shortages as compared to smaller OEMs.
  • Ultra-premium share declines marginally; US$300-$599 share increases due to new 5G launches and Apple's longevity.
    • The ultra-premium market share declined only marginally in March and remained in double digits. Apple continued to dominate the segment with the iPhone 12 Pro Max being the best-selling device, followed by the iPhone 12 Pro and the Galaxy S21 ultra.
    • The US$300-$599 share increased, driven by longevity of iPhone 11, the rebound of iPhone SE 2020 in March and several new models' entry to the segment – Vivo S9, OPPO Reno 5K and Redmi K40 – all 5G capable. iPhone SE sales also grew in March driven by strong promotions in US prepaid, and the Japan market.
    • Vivo S9 was the best-selling 5G device for Vivo in March, as well as the best-selling 5G device within the U$300-US$399 price band. Redmi K40 was the best-selling 5G device for Xiaomi in March.

Table of Contents:

  • Key Takeaways
  • Global Mobile Handset Market Analysis
  • Country-Level Smartphone Market Analysis
  • Global Hardware Feature Analysis
  • Global Hit Model Analysis

Author: Varun Mishra
Number of Pages: 41
Published Date: May 2021


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