According to a new report, after the first year of COVID-19, worldwide smartphone sales grew 6% in 2021. Apple saw a rise in market share as well as becoming the number-one vendor of smartphones to end users in 4Q21.

Although Apple looks good in this report by Gartner, the analytics company said 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,” said 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.”

Apple maintained its position as the second company that sold the most smartphones to end users in 2021 with 239 million units, getting 16.7% of all market share, with a growth of 19.7% when compared to the previous year (almost 200 million units with 14.8% of market share).

Specifically about the fourth quarter of 2021, while global smartphone sales declined 1.7% owing to supply constraints, Apple maintained the number-one position among the top five smartphone vendors, according to the report.


Gartner says “the strong demand for iPhones was driven by 5G upgrades.” That said, Apple sold almost 83 million iPhones in 4Q21 with a market share of 21.9%, a 3.8% growth when compared to the previous year (almost 80 million iPhones with 20.7% market share).

While Xiaomi, Oppo, and Vivo expanded their distribution networks in the Middle East, Africa, Latin America, and Europe, Apple’s strong sales in China in the fourth quarter of 2021 weakened demand for Chinese smartphones.

You can find the full report here.


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About the Author

José Adorno

Brazilian tech Journalist. Author at 9to5Mac. Previously at tv globo, the main TV broadcaster in Latin America.

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