Component shortage drives smartphone sales down in Q3


Sales of smartphones fell in the third quarter of 2021 compared to the third quarter of 2020. The decline would be 6.8% according to figures just published by the Gartner institute. In question, the world shortage of electronic components.

As a result of the Covid-19 crisis, the semiconductor shortage continues to disrupt many businesses around the world. Smartphone manufacturers are no exception and must make choices on which products to favor, but it is not enough. According to the latest figures from Gartner, sales of smartphones in the third quarter of 2021 fell 6.8% compared to the same quarter of 2020. They fell from 366.27 million last year to 342.29 million in this quarter. , a decrease partly attributable to the shortage of components.

“Despite strong consumer demand, smartphone sales have declined due to the delay in product launches, the lengthening of the delivery schedule and insufficient inventory in distribution channels”, explains Ashul Gupta, senior research director at Gartner. “Supply constraints have had an impact on the production schedule of low-end smartphones, much more than on high-end smartphones”.

Samsung tries to resist, Apple takes advantage of the arrival of iPhone 13

As for many years, Samsung leads sales with 69 million smartphones sold in the third quarter, for a market share of 20.2%. The South Korean manufacturer, however, recorded a decline of 1.9 points in market share, but the Gartner Institute is reassuring. Samsung recorded a ” strong demand “ for its folding smartphones (Galaxy Z Fold 3 and Galaxy Z Flip 3) and a progression of its high-end models.

The end of the year was systematically marked by a strong increase in sales at Apple. The apple brand benefits from the launch of its iPhone 13 to recover its place as dolphin to the detriment of Xiaomi. The market share of the American manufacturer is estimated at 14.1% (nearly 48.5 million iPhones sold), or 3.1 points more than in 2020. Behind this duo, the progress of Chinese manufacturers is confirmed and Xiaomi remains on Apple’s heels. With 44.5 million smartphones sold, Xiaomi saw its market share increase (+ 0.9%) to reach 13% market share. According to Gartner, the Chinese manufacturer is reaping the benefits of its strategy in Europe and the Middle East.

Global smartphone sales in the third quarter of 2021 (in thousands of units). © Screenshot / Gartner

In the third quarter of 2021, Vivo is doing well and is recording “The strongest growth” year on year (+ 20.9%) among the top five global smartphone suppliers. The Chinese brand, arriving late on the European market, now captures 10.5% of the market (+2.4 points) and widens the gap on Oppo. The latter has also progressed to settle in fifth place, seeing its market share increase from 8.1% in 2020 to 9.8%.

For Apple, there is a “risk of shortage” of iPhone at Christmas

Gartner’s analysis is directly confirmed by the major market players. Xiaomi recently released its financial results for the third quarter of 2021 and says it is suffering the effects of the shortage of components. The Chinese manufacturer did less well than expected, but it still recorded an increase of 8.2 in its turnover, reaching 78 billion yuan, or about 10.9 billion euros.

Same story on the side of Apple, which has regularly warned of the risk posed by the shortage on its results. The Cupertino company continues to publish impressive results and does not seem to be really suffering from the crisis, but Tim Cook wants to be cautious. During an interview with the show C to you (France 5) at the beginning of the month, he mentioned “a risk of iPhone shortage for Christmas, inviting “All customers to make their purchases as soon as possible”.

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