Xiaomi passes Apple to become world’s second-largest smartphone maker

Xiaomi became the world’s second-largest smartphone manufacturer during the second quarter of 2021.

This is according to preliminary estimates from technology market research firm Canalys, who said the Chinese company’s shipments between April and June of this year propelled it past Apple and brought it close to Samsung’s numbers.

Canalys’ data revealed that Xiaomi’s smartphones accounted for 17% of the world’s shipments in Q2 2021, an astounding 83% increase over its sales during Q2 2020.

“Xiaomi is growing its overseas business rapidly,” said Canalys Research Manager Ben Stanton.

“Its shipments increased more than 300% in Latin America, 150% Africa and 50% in Western Europe,” Stanton said.

“It is now transforming its business model from challenger to incumbent, with initiatives such as channel partner consolidation and more careful management of older stock in the open market.”

The company has amassed a big following by offering powerful devices at lower prices than its more established rivals, particularly in the budget and mid-range categories.

“It is still largely skewed toward the mass market, however, and compared with Samsung and Apple, its average selling price is around 40% and 75% cheaper respectively,” Stanton stated.

“So a major priority for Xiaomi this year is to grow sales of its high-end devices, such as the Mi 11 Ultra.”

Xiaomi store in Hong Kong, China

Stanton said that Xiaomi was now setting its sights on displacing Samsung at the top spot.

The South Korean giant remained the world’s biggest smartphone vendor by shipments during the last quarter, with 19% of the total market share.

Its shipments were also 15% higher than the same time last year.

Third-placed Apple claimed 14% of the total market share, with muted growth of just 1% year-on-year.

Rounding out the top five were two other Chinese manufacturers – Oppo and Vivo – each with a 10% market share.

These companies also recorded big growth from the same period last year, with a 28% increase in shipments for Oppo and a 27% jump for Vivo.

The table below shows the market share and annual growth of the world’s top five smartphone manufacturers by shipments.

Top 5 smartphone vendors by shipments
Vendor Q2 2021 market share Annual growth
Samsung 19% +15%
Xiaomi 17% +83%
Apple 14% +1%
Oppo 10% +28%
Vivo 10% +27%

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Xiaomi passes Apple to become world’s second-largest smartphone maker