Cell phone shipments in 2021: Samsung remained the leader and Apple continues to take advantage of Xiaomi

The mobile market  returned to growth for the first time since 2017. This is the panorama with the main brands.


Samsung remained the cell phone brand that shipped the most equipment in 2021, according to figures published by the firm Counterpoint Research .

The Korean company shipped 270.7 million cell phones in 2021, according to the report. Apple follows closely with 237.9 million cell phones. Xiaomi (190.4 million), Oppo (143.2 million) and vivo (131.3 million) close the Top 5.

2021 was a record year for the industry, as the global cell phone market grew (4%) for the first time since 2017.

2022 for the leading cell phone brands in the market


Samsung grew 6% from 2020 on the back of rising demand for its mid- range Galaxy A and M series , despite issues such as the temporary closure of its Vietnam factory in July due to COVID -19 restrictions. 19.

Counterpoint Research indicates that competition with Apple and Chinese brands has intensified in Latin America and India, but the brand has managed to position itself well in the minds of consumers thanks to its foldables ( Galaxy Z ), which did well in the market. premium segment.


Record year for Apple, which grew 18% compared to 2020. The iPhone 12 helped the brand grow in important markets such as the United States, Europe, India and especially China.

As usual, Apple was the brand with the most shipments in the last quarter of the year with the launch of its new generation of cell phones ( iPhone 13 ).


Another great growth with 31% compared to 2020. Counterpoint Research highlights that its shipments were concentrated in the first half of 2021.

One of Xiaomi ‘s main problems is China, a market where it is in fifth position due to a severe shortage of components.


Great growth for the Chinese brand (28%). A strong performance was seen in China, particularly in the first part of the year, with good results in Europe, the Middle East, Africa and South East Asia. This report also includes OnePlus shipments as of Q3 2021.

Counterpoint Research indicates that Oppo was also a victim of component shortages in the second half of the year.


The Chinese brand has reason to celebrate (21% annual growth), but it also has to worry.

Vivo ‘s catalog reaches more and more countries, achieving its historic number of annual shipments. However, in China it was displaced from the first place by Apple in the last quarter of 2021.

Other brands to watch

Outside of the Top 5, other brands shipped 413.3 million cell phones in 2021. These stood out in the Counterpoint Research report .

Motorola had a good year in the US taking advantage of LG’s exit from the mobile market, particularly with devices under US$300. It is holding strong in Latin America and has found a resurgence in Europe.

Realme is gaining ground with its affordable 5G phone strategy. Its strongest market is in India, but it has expanded into Latin America, Europe, the Middle East and Africa.

Honor lived its first year separated from Huawei.In China it has managed to break into the Top 5, while looking to gain ground in other markets with the support of Google Mobile Services and without commercial blocks.