Despite the chip shortages and the global health crisis, as well mounting pressure from Chinese rivals, Samsung manufactured more smartphones in 2021 than in 2020. According to the Korean publication The Elec, the company manufactured more than 300 million smartphones last year. It hadn’t reached that figure the year before, reports suggest.
Samsung didn’t make all of those 300 million phones itself though. It outsourced the production of some 60 million-odd units to Chinese firms such as Wingtech and Huaquin. The company does so for its budget devices. The rest 240 million units were produced in-house.
While 300 million is a big number, Samsung’s 2021 flagship series — Galaxy S21 — didn’t do particularly well in the market. The Galaxy S21, Galaxy S21+, and Galaxy S21 Ultra sold a combined 20 million-odd units. The company used to sell more than 35 million flagship phones a few years ago. It is blaming the pandemic-caused production disruptions in Vietnam for poor sales of the Galaxy S21 trio. But it is what it is.
Thankfully, the lower-cost Galaxy A, Galaxy M, and Galaxy F series phones did well to maintain a balance. Samsung also had a very good 2021 in the foldable market, with the new Galaxy Z Fold 3 and Galaxy Z Flip 3 selling in good numbers all over the world. The latter, in particular, saw an overwhelming demand in the market.
Samsung had a prolific 2021
2021 has been a prolific year for Samsung. Financially, the company recorded its highest-ever quarterly revenue in the third quarter of the year. It is now estimating a sales revenue of over 278 trillion won (approx. $234 billion) and an operating profit of more than 51 trillion won (~$43 billion) for the full year, which is a massive increase from 2020.
Additionally, Samsung also managed to get its smartphone business back on track last year after Chinese firm Xiaomi threatened to overthrow it from the top spot in 2020. The Korean brand is betting heavily on foldable devices and that paid off to a great extent.
Going forward, Samsung aims to sell more than 350 million smartphones this year. The company is expecting the upcoming Galaxy S22 series to be in as much demand as its flagship phones a few years ago. It is also looking to expand its foldable footprint and increase the sales of lower-cost models, including ODM (original design manufacturer) devices. The Korean brand has reportedly already outsourced production of around 40 million devices to Wingtech. We could see more ODM devices from Samsung this year than before.