Last year was a complicated one for many businesses, and the smartphone manufacturers were also affected. According to a report by TrendForce, companies released 1.25 billion devices – that’s 11% fewer compared to 2019.

Smartphone Production Dropped By 11 in 2020

The top six brands were Samsung, Apple, Huawei, Oppo, and vivo, with Huawei’s stake dropping mostly due to the trade ban, preventing the company to work with Google and, more recently cutting its access to chips.

The next 12 months should see a solid rebound in the market. The analysts expect a strong wave of device replacement and demand growth in emerging markets. The annual global smartphone production for 2021 is predicted to be 1.36 billion units or a 9% increase from 2020.

But then again, the forecast for Huawei is grim, pushing the company out of Top 5 by volume, with its market share plummeting to just 3%. The bold prediction also suggests Transsion, parent company of itel, Tecno, and Infinix will see big growth and overtake Huawei.

Company 2020 Production estimate
(in million)
2020 Market share 2021 Production forecast
(in million)
2021 Market share
Samsung 263 21% 267 19%
Apple 199 15% 229 16%
Xiaomi 146 11% 198 14%
Oppo 144 11% 185 13%
vivo 110 8% 145 10%
Transsion 55 4% 60 4%
Huawei 170 13% 45 3%

5G is expected to remain a key talking point in 2021. Expectations are the penetration to rise to 37% but production will be limited due to foundry capacities. TrendForce said smartphone brands aim high and will increase production targets, limiting the capacity of how many devices and components can the factories push out in time.

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