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Samsung maintains grip on global smartphone sales crown

The Korean company took more than 20% of the market share for 2021's first quarter, according to Gartner.

Samsung Galaxy A52 5G
Phones like the Galaxy A52 5G helped Samsung keep its phone market crown for early 2021.
Sarah Tew/CNET

Samsung's wide selection of phones worked in its favor in the first quarter of the year, a report from analyst Gartner revealed Monday. The Korean company held more than 20% of the smartphone market, with more than 76.5 million phones sold.

The figure matches the one reported by research firm Canalys in April. Gartner credited Samsung's cheaper phones and its flagship 5G ones for fueling its growth. 

Apple held 15.5% of the market, with phone sales of over 58.5 million. Chinese phone makers Xiaomi, Oppo and Vivo rounded out the top five, with sales of 48.9 million, 38.7 million and 38.3 million, respectively.

"5G will continue to be the major growth driver for Apple in 2021," Anshul Gupta, Gartner's senior research director, said in a release. "Device upgrades will fuel demand for Apple's flagship phone throughout the year." 

Overall, global smartphone sales grew 26% in the first quarter of the year, and 22% year over year.

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