Apple was the world’s third-largest smartphone supplier in the second quarter of 2021, according to smartphone shipping estimates released by Canalys.
Apple’s iPhone sales were outpaced by smartphone sales by Samsung and Chinese smartphone maker Xiaomi. Xiaomi overtook Apple, taking second place for the first time.
Samsung was the most popular smartphone vendor with 19% market share and 15% growth, while Xiaomi achieved 17% market share thanks to an 83% growth in smartphone sales during the quarter. Apple was responsible for 14% of the market, followed by Oppo and Vivo with 10% each.
Xiaomi’s growth is due to overseas business, with the company increasing shipments by more than 300% in Latin America, 150% in Africa and 50% in Western Europe. Xiaomi is known for selling more affordable smartphones and its average selling price is about 75% cheaper than Apple’s iPhones.
In the future, to overtake Samsung, Canalys suggests that Xiaomi will need to increase its sales of high-end devices like the Mi 11 Ultra.
“Therefore, one of Xiaomi’s top priorities this year is to increase sales of its next-generation devices, such as the Mi 11 Ultra. But it will be an uphill battle, with Oppo and Vivo sharing the same goal, and both willing to spend a lot on above-the-line marketing to build their brands in a way Xiaomi isn’t doing. All suppliers are fighting hard to guarantee the supply of components in a context of global scarcity, but Xiaomi is already looking towards the next prize: replacing Samsung to become the biggest supplier in the world”.
Global smartphone shipments vary from quarter to quarter, with Apple and Samsung generally ranking first and second. 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 iPhone 13 launch approaches.