Global Smartphone Production Gets Highest QoQ Growth in Recent Years: TrendForce

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Global smartphone production marked a 20 percent quarter-on-quarter (QoQ) increase to 336 million units in the third quarter of 2020, according to market research firm TrendForce. Its report says that despite the coronavirus outbreak this is the highest QoQ growth recorded in recent years. The firm also noted that the QoQ comparisons show a gradual recovery from the plummet caused by the pandemic in worldwide markets. However, Samsung and Xiaomi are the only two companies out of the top six to increase their market share in the third quarter.

As per the data provided by TrendForce in its latest report, Samsung grew 42 percent QoQ with 78 million units produced for the third quarter. The growth helped the South Korean company retain the top spot in the global market.

However, TrendForce predicts that Samsung’s smartphone production will drop by around 16 million to 62 million units due to the end of the holiday stock-up activities in Europe and North America and the competition from the iPhone 12 series.

Oppo came second with a 64 percent QoQ increase in production to 45 million units for the third quarter, according to TrendForce. The Oppo production figure, however, also includes devices from Oppo, OnePlus, and Realme. After Oppo, Xiaomi gained a 51 percent QoQ increase to 44.5 million units for the same period. TrendForce noted that both Oppo and Xiaomi can be considered to share the second spot.

Guangdong-headquartered Oppo along with Xiaomi and Vivo are considered as the main beneficiaries of Huawei’s loss of market share due to US sanctions. Oppo and Xiaomi are estimated to hit production volumes of 47 million and 46 million units, respectively, in the fourth quarter.

Apple dropped to the number fourth position in the global market, with a marginal QoQ increase of two percent in its iPhone production to 42 million units for the third quarter. The drop is believed to be due to the delay in the launch of the iPhone 12 series. The launch of the iPhone 12 series may, however, help Apple grow its market. TrendForce estimates that the iPhone production in the fourth quarter will reach 74.1 million units.

Huawei was on par with Apple in terms of smartphone production and global ranking in the third quarter, as per the report. The Chinese company posted a QoQ decline of 19 percent to 42 million units and is believed to fall further by 30 percent QoQ to 30 million units in the current quarter.

After Huawei, Vivo came sixth in the global market ranking for the third quarter, with its production volume increased 13 percent from the second quarter to 30 million units. However, the company is estimated to grow its production to 35 million units for the fourth quarter.

TrendForce also noted that the ongoing border dispute between India and China continues to put pressure on the sales efforts of Oppo, Xiaomi, and Vivo since India is amongst their major foreign markets. The trio do have a strong brand recognition in the country along with localised supply chains. However, their growth is believed to be constrained if the border dispute drags on.

About the global smartphone production for the year 2020, TrendForce said that it would drop 11 percent year-on-year (YoY) to 1.25 billion units. The production for 2021 is, however, forecast to increase by nine percent YoY to 1.36 billion units.

“In the aspect of industry development, smartphone brands have been focusing on 5G this year, which will continue to be the main theme of 2021. As suppliers of mobile SoCs expand their 5G solutions for mid-range and low-end smartphones, the share of 5G models in the annual global smartphone production is forecasted to grow rapidly from around 20 percent this year to 40 percent next year,” the firm noted.


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