Samsung Leads North American Smartphone Shipments in Q3 2021

(Image credit: Samsung)

BOSTON—New research from Strategy Analytics finds that Samsung was the top smartphone vendor in North America in Q3 2021 narrowly beating out Apple for the top spot. 

Both Samsung and Apple grew their market share during the quarter. 

The data, which is important for media companies developing apps and digital products, showed that the Top-5 smartphone vendors by shipments for the region captured 93% of total shipments to the region. 

The shipment numbers also showed that consumers are increasingly slow in upgrading their phones. North American smartphone shipments were down 7% annually in the third quarter of 2021 compared to a year earlier.

Samsung led in North American smartphone shipments with a 38% market share, followed by Apple (37%) and Motorola (10%). 

All three vendors showed gains in the quarter, in part because LG has shuttered its smartphone unit. Both Samsung and Apple grew their market share by five percentage points while Motorola saw a two percentage point increase.  

“Samsung is the leading smartphone vendor in North America, with annual shipment growth of 5 percent,” says Ken Hyers, director at Strategy Analytics. “Samsung has clawed back share following three quarters when it was topped by Apple. Samsung has capitalized on the collapse of LG, which in the year-ago quarter held a 14 percent share in the North American region but has shuttered operations from Q3 2021. The combination of leading technology and a broad product portfolio have made Samsung smartphones, such as its premium Galaxy S21 series and affordable A-series the most popular Android devices in the region.”

“Apple captured 2nd place in smartphone shipments in the North America region in Q3 2021,” added Linda Sui, senior director at Strategy Analytics. “Apple’s newly introduced iPhone 13 5G smartphones drove a late Q3 2021 surge in shipments, which along with its older iPhone 12 models drove positive annual growth of 9 percent annually in the 3rd quarter of 2021. Apple’s growth would have been even stronger were it not for component shortages and manufacturing disruption in Asia that limited its ability to meet demand for its new iPhone 13 series smartphones.”

“Samsung also faced shortages that limited its ability to meet strong customer demand,” noted Woody Oh, Director at Strategy Analytics. “Samsung’s newest foldable smartphones, the Galaxy Flip3 and Fold3 were very strong sellers for the company. In fact, the Flip3 barely missed being its 5th best-selling smartphone in North America in Q3 2021, held back only by the company’s inability to produce as many of the devices as customers wanted, due to component shortages. Samsung expects a big quarter in Q4 2021 for its foldables with major promotions planned for Black Friday in North America which it predicts will fuel strong sales of the Flip3 and Fold3.”

(Image credit: Strategy Analytics)
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George Winslow

George Winslow is the senior content producer for TV Tech. He has written about the television, media and technology industries for nearly 30 years for such publications as Broadcasting & Cable, Multichannel News and TV Tech. Over the years, he has edited a number of magazines, including Multichannel News International and World Screen, and moderated panels at such major industry events as NAB and MIP TV. He has published two books and dozens of encyclopedia articles on such subjects as the media, New York City history and economics.