iPhone 12 Series Captures One-third of Smartphone Industry Revenues in Q1 2021

Apple’s iPhones dominated the best-selling models’ list for Q1 2021 both in terms of volume as well as value, according to the Counterpoint Research Global Handset Model Tracker, Q1 2021.

Analysis by Revenue

The global smartphone revenues crossed the $100-billion mark in Q1 2021, setting a first-quarter record driven by the flagships, which grabbed most of the earnings.

The top 10 list of highest revenue grossing models in Q1 2021 was dominated by Apple and Samsung. The iPhone Pro Max captured the highest revenue in the industry, followed by the iPhone 12, iPhone 12 Pro, iPhone 11, and the S21 Ultra 5G.

In some regions, consumers preferred to buy higher variants of the devices. The iPhone 12 Pro Max was the best-selling model in the US. The S21 Ultra 5G also sold more than the lower variants in the US and Europe. The S21 series, which was launched at cheaper prices than the S20 series, was also supported by strong carrier promotions.

With the exception of the iPhone 11 and iPhone SE 2020, all the models in the list were 5G capable. 5G has now become a standard offering in the premium segment.

The top 10 highest revenue grossing models captured close to 46% of the global smartphone revenues, which are a lot more consolidated than the volumes, where the top 10 best-selling models captured only 21% of the global smartphone volumes. This also indicates the advantages of being present in the premium segment (>$400), which contributed to 65% of the global smartphone revenues in Q1 2021.

The importance of the premium segment in terms of revenue contribution is one of the reasons many Chinese OEMs, like OPPO, vivo and Xiaomi, are eyeing it. Entering the premium segment also unlocks access to consumers who potentially have a higher lifetime value.

Analysis by Volume

In terms of volume, the iPhone 12 was the best-selling model in Q1 2021, followed by the iPhone 12 Pro Max and iPhone 12 Pro. Strong 5G upgrades within the iOS base, pent-up demand and the spillover of Apple’s demand due to the late launch were some of the factors driving the volumes for Apple. The iPhone 11 captured the fourth spot as it remains a popular choice for users looking for lower-cost Apple devices and in markets like India where 5G services are still elusive.

Unlike the revenue list, the volume list also features devices from the affordable segment. The volumes for the Redmi 9A were driven by its strong performance in China and India, while the Redmi 9 performed well in the South East Asian market. The strong performance of the Redmi 9A, Redmi 9 and Redmi Note 9 helped Xiaomi maintain its pole position in the sub-$150 price band globally, capturing a 19% share in the segment.

Samsung was the only other OEM featuring in the top 10 list. The Galaxy A12, A21S and A31 captured the seventh, ninth and tenth positions respectively. The volumes for these models were driven by the MEA, India and LATAM markets. The models helped Samsung lead the $150-$250 price band, capturing 28% of its volumes. Notably, the $150-$250 band was also the highest volume grossing segment globally.

* The analysis is based on wholesale ASP