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How Xiaomi leapfrogged Apple as the world’s second-biggest smartphone seller

Xiaomi has overtaken Apple to become the second-biggest smartphone seller in the world.

For the first time, the Chinese electronics giant took second place in Canalys’ quarterly smartphone sales report, with a 17% share of the market.

Samsung remained in the number one spot, accounting for 19% of global smartphone shipments in the second quarter of 2021, the closely-watched report showed. Apple had 14% of the market.

Ben Stanton, research manager at Canalys, said: “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.”

Although Canalys said it was the first time Xiaomi had ranked above Apple on its list, in October, International Data Corporation said that Xiaomi sold nearly 5 million more smartphones than Apple in the third quarter of 2020.

These are the five biggest smartphone vendors globally, according to Canalys’ report.

South Korean technology giant Samsung topped the list. Preliminary data from Canalys says that the company accounted for nearly one in five global shipments of smartphones in the second quarter of 2021.

In April, the company reported increased sales of both its flagship models, including the Galaxy S21, and its cheaper mass-market models.

As well as phones, the company makes a range of consumer and industry electronics. These include laptops, tablets, watches, semiconductors, and memory chips.

China’s Xiaomi was hot on Samsung’s heels, accounting for 17% of global shipments in the second quarter.

Of the top five smartphone makers on Canalys’ list, Xiaomi had the highest rate of annual growth, at 83%.

“Xiaomi is growing its overseas business rapidly,” Ben Stanton, research manager at Canalys, said. He said that its shipments increased more than four-fold in Latin America, and grew by 150% in Africa and 50% in Western Europe.

“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,” Stanton said.

He added that Xiaomi is still largely skewed toward the mass market with an average selling price around a quarter of Apple’s, but that it was planning to grow sales of its high-end devices, such as the Mi 11 Ultra, which starts at 5,999 yuan ($928).

As well as smartphones, Xiaomi announced in March that it was pumping $10 billion into a new smart electric-vehicle unit.

Apple had the lowest growth rate of the smartphone makers on the list, with its annual shipments growing just 1%. In the second quarter, it accounted for 14% of all global smartphone shipments, Canalys said.

The American tech giant reported $47.9 billion in iPhone sales between January and March as stores returned to normal operations for the first time since the start of the pandemic and the iPhone 12 lineup remained a hit.

The International Data Corporation, which also releases quarterly smartphone shipment estimates, hasn’t released its report for the second quarter of 2021 yet, but said that Apple had shipped around 14% more smartphones than Xiaomi in the first quarter.

Chinese companies Vivo and Oppo each accounted for 10% of global shipments, Canalys said. The International Data Corporation gave similar figures in its first quarter report.

Both companies had annual shipment growth rates in the late-20s, Canalys said.

Source: INSIDER

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