Winners and losers: iPhone 13 Pro featured as the mobile market shrinks

In 2021, it is Apple that comes up tops when it comes to manufacturing the best smartphone for taking photos among all of its competitors. How can we affirm this? Simple, the NextPit community has chosen the iPhone 13 Pro as the smartphone with the best camera of the year in a blind test! However, this Sunday’s column is not all about bouquets but will also contain some brickbats, as the last few days have revealed what we’ve been talking about for some time: the smartphone market is shrinking, and it’s not for lack of interest!

As usual, however, before we dive into the winners and losers of the week, I will share five highlights from NextPit ‘s coverage over the past few days below:

Winner of the week: iPhone 13 Pro is the best for photos

Between the launch of our blind camera test and the announcement of the final result, there were exactly seven days. That’s also how long it took our community to vote for the photos that they thought were the best out of the five handsets competing for the gong of “top camera of the year”.

And the competition proved to be fierce. As my colleague Stefan Möllenhoff rightly pointed out, from a total of 16,575 votes, only 17 made the difference in the end to separate the winner and the loser. To give you an idea, the iPhone 13 Pro was only 1 point ahead of the Google Pixel 6 Pro, and both models were followed far behind by the Samsung Galaxy S21 UltraOnePlus 9 Pro, and Oppo Find X3 Pro.

NextPit Apple iPhone 13 Pro camera back
This is the best camera system that a smartphone has in 2021 / © NextPit

Our test was specially designed to show the opinion of those who enjoy and follow the evolution of cameras on smartphones, so we want to thank all the people who took the time to analyze each photo and choose the one they thought was the best. Thanks a lot, NextPit community!

Loser of the week: The smartphone market shrinks

In last week’s column, Apple was named the winner for closing the fiscal year with the best result in its history. Last Thursday, Samsung appeared in Counterpoint Research’s report as the leading manufacturer of the smartphone market in mainland Europe during the third quarter of 2021.

It is also worth taking note of Xiaomi’s efforts here, as it has snatched the second place in smartphone market share in the old continent, having a year-on-year growth of 51%.

Europe Smartphone Market Q3 2021
Samsung maintained its position in Europe, but is starting to show signs of losing ground in 2021! / © Counterpoint Research

However, despite the great success of devices like the iPhone 13 and the Galaxy Z Flip 3, the reality is, the smartphone market experienced a drop in sales volume compared to the corresponding period in the previous year. And that’s not necessarily connected to people losing interest in smartphones.

According to data from Canalys and was widely reported by the world press, a smaller number of devices were distributed worldwide in the third quarter of 2021 compared to the same period last year. To be precise, the drop amounted to 6% (325.5 million units shipped in 2020 versus 348 million in 2021).

The reason for this: a global chip shortage.

Of course, the slowdown in the smartphone market is something that we have expected and has been happening since 2016 at the very least. This is a reflection of the maturity of the consumer today who changes devices within an interval of 2 to 3 years. Devices also have had their lifespan extended after manufacturers optimized support for operating system updates and battery charging technologies.

However, the Covid-19 pandemic has caused factories to close between 2020 and 2021, causing a severe shortage of parts and semiconductors for the smartphone industry, among others.

Hence, even though companies like Apple celebrate historic financial results leveraged mainly by smartphone sales, numbers don’t lie: the smartphone market is shrinking and it’s not for lack of interest!

And it is in this spirit of “I want, but I don’t have” that I conclude this Sunday’s column! So, what do you think of this week’s choices? Share your opinion by commenting on this article.

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