SEOUL, Jan. 5 (Yonhap) — Samsung Electronics Co. is expected to remain the world’s top smartphone producer this year, a report showed Tuesday, though its market share is likely to go down as other brands will ramp up production with the recovery of mobile demand.

Global smartphone production was projected to increase 9 percent on-year to 1.36 billion units in 2021, according to market researcher TrendForce, which predicted that device replacement demand and growth in emerging markets will lead to gradual recovery of the smartphone market.

Samsung was forecast to make 267 million smartphones, or 19.6 percent of global production, in 2021, TrendForce data showed.

Last year, the South Korean tech giant produced 264 million smartphones, accounting for 21 percent of worldwide smartphone production.

Samsung was followed by Apple Inc., which was projected to produce 229 million units of iPhones in 2021, up 15 percent from a year earlier. Its global market share in terms of production volume was estimated at 16.8 percent, up from last year’s 15.9 percent.

This image from Yonhap News TV shows smartphones from Samsung Electronics Co. and Apple Inc. (PHOTO NOT FOR SALE) (Yonhap)

China’s Xiaomi Corp. was expected to move up one spot to rank third with a production volume of 198 million units in 2021, up 35.6 percent from a year earlier.

However, its Chinese compatriot Huawei Technologies Co. was forecast to see its ranking drop from third to seventh. Its smartphone production volume was estimated to plunge to 45 million units in 2021 from 170 million units a year ago due to U.S. export restrictions and the spin-off of its Honor brand, according to TrendForce.

When it comes to the 5G smartphone market share in 2021, Samsung was estimated to make up 13 percent of the market, up from 11 percent in 2020.

Apple was expected to solidify its top status with a market share of 35 percent, up from 31 percent a year earlier.

Chinese phone brand Oppo was projected to rank second in this year’s 5G smartphone market with a share of 14 percent, up from 9 percent in 2020.

TrendForce said global 5G smartphone production for 2021 is expected to be about 500 million units, up from last year’s 240 million units. The penetration rate of 5G smartphones was projected to reach 37 percent, up from 19 percent in 2020.