As vaccines were handed out over the world and the new normal for economies and citizens began to take shape in Q2 2021, global smartphone shipments surged by 12%. Samsung was the most popular smartphone maker, accounting for 19% of all units shipped. According to Canalys, Xiaomi came in second place for the first time, with a share of 17%. Apple came in third place with 14%, while Vivo and Oppo rounded out the top five with substantial growth.
This is the first time Xiaomi, a Chinese company that makes everything from rice cookers to gaming monitors, has cracked the top two, which have been ruled by Samsung Electronics Co. and Apple Inc. for years. According to the data from the research firm, Samsung had a 19 percent market share in the second quarter, Xiaomi had 17 percent, and Apple had 14 percent. Xiaomi’s stock rose as high as 4.1 percent on Friday, making it the biggest performance on Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index.
Huawei Technologies Co. briefly destabilized the rankings before being cut off from critical chip supplies last year due to penalties. Due to its exit from the highly competitive smartphone market, other Chinese vendors have been forced to invest heavily in new hardware and updates. Xiaomi was very active in the first four months of the year, releasing two flagship products. Its Mi 11 Ultra smartphone has one of the largest camera sensors ever seen in a smartphone, indicating the company’s desire to go into the premium price range.
How did Xiaomi manage to grow in the market?
“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. 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. 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.”
Apple and Samsung are both preparing for new handset launches in the coming months, thus the second quarter is generally their slowest period.
Author: Moses Echodu
Moses is an avid Sports and Tech enthusiast. He loves to keep up to date with all the latest information and research on some of the most compelling stories.