16th July 2021 – Apple’s iPhone sales were surpassed by smartphone sales from Samsung and Chinese smartphone maker Xiaomi, with Xiaomi surpassing Apple and taking the number two spot for the first time.
Samsung was the most popular smartphone vendor with 19 percent market share and 15 percent growth, while Xiaomi earned 17 percent market share thanks to an 83 percent growth in smartphone sales during the quarter. Apple was responsible for 14 percent market share, followed by Oppo and Vivo with 10 percent each.
Xiaomi’s growth is thanks to overseas business, with the company increasing shipments by more than 300 percent in Latin America, 150 percent in Africa, and 50 percent in Western Europe. Xiaomi is known for selling more affordable smartphones, and its average selling price is around 75 percent cheaper than Apple’s iPhones.
Going forward, to overtake Samsung, Canalys suggests that Xiaomi will need to increase its sales of high-end devices like the Mi 11 Ultra, which is priced at over US$900. So a major priority for Xiaomi this year is to grow sales of its high-end devices, such as the Mi 11 Ultra.
But it will be a tough battle, with Oppo and Vivo sharing the same objective, and both willing to spend big on above-the-line marketing to build their brands in a way that Xiaomi is not. All vendors are fighting hard to secure component supply amid global shortages, but Xiaomi already has its sights set on the next prize: displacing Samsung to become the world’s largest vendor.
Global smartphone shipments vary from quarter to quarter, and it’s usually Apple and Samsung taking the first and second spots. In the fourth quarter of 2020, Apple was the number one smartphone vendor in the world due to strong sales of the iPhone 12 models, so Apple may overtake Xiaomi in subsequent quarters as the launch of the iPhone 13 approaches.