Huawei Smartphone Shipment Drops to Sixth Globally as Xiaomi Leads in China

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Huawei Y9

Data by research firm Counterpoint has shown key markers about the smartphone space for the first quarter of 2021.

The quarter was led by Samsung in terms of smartphone shipment at 22 percent.

Samsung was followed closed by Apple at 17 percent.


The rest of the market share includes Xiaomi, OPPO, vivo and Huawei at 14, 11, 10 and 4 percent, respectively.

The numbers reveal interesting developments.

First, is that Samsung has since gotten its smartphone business together. This is after it re-structured the A series lineup that has since proven a key money-maker for the South Korean technology company. Some of its devices, including the A32, A52 and A72 are quite popular even in markets such as Kenya. This, is perhaps, due to the fact that they are well-priced, have lifestyle features such as water resistance (A52 and A72), and have a generally compelling camera setup.

The second observation is that Huawei is still in the field, following two years of bad business because of its beef with the US that saw it enter the entity list. At one time, Huawei was the leading smartphone maker in terms of shipments. Now, it has been relegated to position 6, which is sad because it had dedicated a lot of research into making some of the most technologically advanced handhelds for the millions of its loyal customers.

Thirdly, and in the same breath, Huawei is no longer the top smartphone maker in China. The Asian and world’s most populous country has seen an unprecedented growth of smartphone manufacturers in the recent past. Based on the numbers above, Xiaomi, obviously, leads the pack – and this makes sense because the company, with its sub-brands, has been releasing some of the hottest phones for leading markets such as its home turf, and India. Its presence in Kenya has also been notable, and the recently released Redmi Note 10 series is to kill for.


BBK Electronics has also proved that it can be among the top smartphone sellers in the world; just look at what it has done with OPPO and vivo, not to mention the likes of realme, and in Western markets, OnePlus.

Nevertheless, here are some key numbers from the publication.

  1. Global smartphone shipments grew by 20 percent YoY, but dropped 10 percent QoQ to hit 354.94 million units in the period under evaluation.
  2. Samsung regained the top spot, replacing Apple from the other quarter.
  3. Shipments in the MEA region were led by Samsung at 26 percent. TECNO, Xiaomi, itel and OPPO followed at 11, 10, 9 and 6 percent, respectively.

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Kenn Abuya is a friend of technology, with bias in enterprise and mobile tech. Share your thoughts, tips and hate mail at [email protected]