Riding on its flagship Galaxy S21 series, Samsung Electronics is expected to recapture the top spot in global smartphone production in the first quarter of the year, a report said on Tuesday.
The South Korean tech giant is estimated to produce 62 million smartphones in the January-March period and account for 18.1 per cent of global smartphone production, according to market researcher TrendForce.
Apple is expected to drop to the second spot with 54 million units, or a market share of 15.8 per cent, in the first three months of 2021, according to the report.
Apple was the leading smartphone maker in the fourth quarter of 2020 after it rolled out 77.6 million units of iPhones, beating Samsung's production of 67 million units.
Xiaomi is projected to become the third-largest smartphone producer in the first quarter of 2021, with a share of 15.2 per cent.
"Moving to the first quarter of 2021, Samsung has released the new lineup of its flagship Galaxy S21 series in advance so as to maintain its market share in the high-end segment," TrendForce said.
"At the same time, Samsung has adopted promotional pricing to boost the sales of its latest devices."
OPPO, which includes OnePlus and Realme devices, is expected to become the top fourth-largest player with a share of 15.1 percent, TrendForce added, followed by Huawei Technologies Co. with 7.7 percent.
Global smartphone production is likely to reach 342 million units in the first quarter of 2021, up 25 percent from a year ago, and a quarter-on-quarter decline of 6 percent, TrendForce said.
"Historically, smartphone production tends to experience a quarter-on-quarter drop of around 20 per cent for the first quarter as demand collapses from the peak-season level of the fourth quarter of the preceding year," it said. "However, the performance of the first quarter of this year is expected to defy seasonality."
For the whole of 2021, the market researcher expected the global smartphone production volume to reach 1.36 billion units, up 9 percent from a year ago, reports Yonhap news agency.
The main focus of Samsung's sales efforts will still be on the Galaxy A series that encompasses models across the high-end, mid-range and low-end segments of the price spectrum, the report said.