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Mobile Sales Have Increased Across Q3 2021, But Are Also Facing A Decline In Shipping

The mobile marketplace has grown by a rousing 6% quarter to quarter in Q3 2021, but this has also been offset by a equivalent 6% decline year to year.

Smartphones are more or less dominating the tech industry nowadays, being arguably it's most profitable venture. At one point in our lives, phones could do little more than make calls, send text messages, play songs in middling quality, and maybe play a few games. However, things are much different now. With impressive strides made in processing power and overall manufacturing ability by the likes of Apple and Samsung, smartphones act as smaller desktops, completing virtually any and all tasks that can be thrown at them. They're accessible, relatively affordable, and in the current digital age, are indispensable. It's quite the interesting climb they've seen, far beyond what kids in the 90's had ever imagined.

So, what accounts for growth across multiple quarters, but an overall decline throughout the year? The answer can apparently be found in shipping constraints. Due to certain assembly equipment proving to be unavailable in the September quarter, coupled with a global shortage of semiconductors, retailers were forced to increase prices on their products. The overall result ended up being fewer purchases, and thus fewer models being shipped. However, as always, a compensatory mechanism developed in the marketplace. Due to higher prices, sales in low tier products decreased significantly quarter to quarter. They were, however, more than compensated in the mid to high tier of smartphones. Since these were always, to a degree, more expensive, consumers didn't mind spending a bit more on them. With the lower tier attracting less attention, the mid to high tier market ended up leading the smartphone marketplace to a record high in terms of revenue.

Individuals brands were naturally affected by the entire shortage, but the larger companies still managed to navigate themselves through harsh waters. Of our top 5 smartphones brands, Apple saw the largest growth from Q3 2020 to Q3 2021, going from a 28% share of the market to 37%. The only brands amongst the top 5 to see decline ended up being Samsung and Xiaomi, with the former being hit the hardest. Samsung's share went from 22% to 18%, but the company still pulled an impressive sales figure of 69 million units and won't be feeling the loss in any significant manner.


H/T: Counterpointresearch

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