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Apple's iPhone captures 44% of global smartphone revenue

Apple dominated the smartphone market last year, with annual revenue of $196bn — a 35% increase year-on-year and representing 44% of total worldwide smartphone revenue in 2021.

High demand for the 5G-enabled iPhone 12 and 13 series helped Apple register 14% growth in its overall average selling price, which reached $825 in 2021. The brand also managed to increase its share in key emerging markets such as India, Thailand, Vietnam and Brazil.

iPhone 12 Range

Second-place Samsung’s smartphone revenue increased by 11% year-on-year, reaching $72bn in 2021 compared with $64bn in 2020, and its average selling price was up 5% to $263.

The figures come from Counterpoint’s Market Monitor Service, which found that global smartphone revenue in 2021 grew 7% to a record USD448bn, despite the continued impact on supply chains from component shortages and Covid-19 restrictions.

Across the whole of the smartphone market, the average selling price rose 12% year-on-year to reach $322. This was mainly due to a higher share of 5G smartphones, which have a significantly higher average selling price than 4G models, as well as Apple’s successful launch of its iPhone 13 devices, Counterpoint said.

More 5G-enabled models were released in 2021 as OEMs such as Xiaomi, vivo, OPPO and realme focused on fulfilling a greater demand for affordable 5G smartphones in emerging markets such as India, Southeast Asia, Latin America and Eastern Europe. As a result, 5G-enabled smartphones accounted for more than 40% of all smartphone shipments in 2021, compared to less than a fifth (18%) in 2020.

Also contributing to the higher market revenue was a global increase in demand for mid-range and premium smartphones as pandemic-linked education, work and entertainment from home convinced some consumers to upgrade their devices for a better overall experience.

Lastly, the global shortage of smartphone components led major manufacturers to increase the retail prices of some of their entry and mid-tier smartphones.

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