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Strong demand for iPhones is driven by demand for 5G upgrades

Worldwide smartphone sales grew 6% in 2021, according to Gartner, Inc. Apple maintained the No.1 position among the top five smartphone vendors, as the strong demand for iPhones was driven by 5G upgrades.

Apple sold approximately 83 million iPhones in the fourth quarter of 22% of the global smartphone market. That compares to sales of 80 million and and 20.7% market share in the fourth quarter of 2020.

Gartner says smartphone sales rebounded in the first half of 2021, following a 12.5% decline in 2020. Previous year’s lower smartphone sales because of COVID-19 and the bounce back to growth in first half of 2021 helped propel the market to growth. However, component shortages and supply chain issues disrupted smartphone sales in the second half of 2021.

“An improved consumer outlook, pent up demand from 2020 in large markets, such as India and China, helped drive sales in the first half of the year,” says Anshul Gupta, senior research director at Gartner. “However, this trend reversed in the second half of the year, even with high demand from consumers. Out-of-stock situations for popular models and limited inventories pushed out some of the possible sales to 2022.”

He adds that the increase in discretionary spending, opening of marketplaces post lockdown, along with a lower base for comparison from 2020 led to 6% growth in 2021. The introduction of 5G at lower price points to meet future proof needs influenced upgrade purchases. As a result, smartphone sales grew for all the top five vendors in 2021.

Dennis Sellers
the authorDennis Sellers
Dennis Sellers is the editor/publisher of Apple World Today. He’s been an “Apple journalist” since 1995 (starting with the first big Apple news site, MacCentral). He loves to read, run, play sports, and watch movies.