Worldwide smartphone shipments are forecast to grow 6.5 per cent on-year to 1.38 billion units in 2021, and Samsung's market share is estimated at 20 per cent, unchanged from a year earlier, according to market researcher Strategy Analytics.
US tech titan Apple Inc is projected to remain second, with its market share also staying the same as that last year, at 16 per cent.
Strategy Analytics said Chinese makers are set to post robust growth this year, taking over market share of their compatriot Huawei that is struggling from US sanctions, reports Yonhap news agency.
The researcher said Xiaomi Corp will rise to the third spot with a share of 13 per cent, up from 11 per cent a year earlier, followed by Vivo with 11 per cent and Oppo with 10 per cent. Both Vivo and Oppo had 9 per cent market share in 2020.
"2021 is going to be the year of Chinese smartphone vendors," Linda Sui, a senior director at Strategy Analytics, said. "In Asia Pacific, Vivo, Xiaomi and Oppo will become top three players driven by aggressive marketing, expanding channel footprints and competitive pricing."
In Africa and the Middle East, Strategy Analytics said Chinese smartphone maker Transsion would overtake Samsung as the biggest vendor in the region.
To fend off challenges from Chinese players that are highly competitive in mid-to-low tier smartphones, Samsung pins high hopes on its Galaxy A series.