Xiaomi has displaced Apple as the world’s second-biggest smartphone company, while Samsung retains its #1 spot…
It’s been a long time coming, but Xiaomi has finally toppled Apple. According to data from Canalys, Xiaomi is now the #2 smartphone vendor behind Samsung.
Xiaomi now controls 17% of the market, with Apple’s iPhone accounting for 14%.
Samsung is still number one, however, with a 19% share of the global market, helped in no small part by its successful Galaxy S21 launch and the growing popularity of its cheaper Galaxy A series smartphones.
The biggest winners, however, were OPPO and VIVO – both firms posted massive year-on-year growth with 28% and 27% growth, respectively.
Meanwhile, Apple’s market share increased just 1% for the quarter, suggesting demand for its iPhone 12 range is slowing down ahead of the launch of the iPhone 13 later this year.
“Xiaomi is growing its overseas business rapidly,” said Canalys Research Manager Ben Stanton. “For example, its shipments increased more than 300% in Latin America, 150% Africa, and 50% in Western Europe. And as it grows, it evolves.”
He added: “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. 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.”
Cheap Phones Drive Sales Still
Xiaomi’s growth is impressive, but as Canalys notes, the vast majority of its growth has come from its cheaper smartphones – not its more expensive models like the Xiaomi Mi 11 and Mi 11 Ultra.
Going forwards, Xiaomi needs to figure out to better market its more expensive flagship models, as increased sales of these would represent huge ROI for the firm which operates on razor-thin margins as it is – around 5% per handset sold.
But Xiaomi’s fight will be a tough one, as the two fastest-growing phone brands on the planet – OPPO and VIVO – are attempting to do the exact same thing: sell more phones and develop their flagship offerings.
VIVO especially is pushing hard globally, the company had its branding ALL over the recent UEFA football tournament, and this created a huge uptick in interesting the brand, as you can see below:
Moving towards the back end of 2021 and the start of 2022, we have new releases from Apple on the horizon with its iPhone 13 lineup, and Samsung’s next flagship, the Galaxy S22, will launch inside January 2022.
Analysts expect Apple to shift upwards of 240 million iPhones inside the next 12 months, so the company could well increase its market share during 2022.
Samsung has a lot of work to do in order to keep its top spot. It is now only a matter of time before brands like Xiaomi, VIVO, and OPPO will start challenging its dominance in the phone market.
2022 is going to be a very interesting year for Apple and Samsung, and likely a very lucrative one for OPPO, VIVO, and Xiaomi.
Richard Goodwin has been working as a tech journalist for over 10 years. He is the editor and owner of KnowYourMobile.