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Xiaomi passes Apple to become the #2 smartphone vendor

There’s a new second-place vendor in the smartphone world: Xiaomi. The latest report from analyst firm Canalys puts the Chinese company second in worldwide smartphone shipments for Q2 2021, behind Samsung and ahead of Apple. According to Canalys’ data, Samsung is still the top dog, with 19 percent market share in Q2 2021, followed by Xiaomi at 17 percent, Apple at 14 percent, and Oppo and Vivo at 10 percent.

The whole smartphone market grew 12 percent this quarter as the economy begins to bounce back from the COVID-19 pandemic. Worldwide, Oppo and Vivo were up 28 and 27 percent, respectively, while Samsung was up 15. Apple barely moved, at 1 percent growth. Xiaomi’s growth to second makes it the big winner, with a whopping 83 percent jump compared to the previous quarter. Xiaomi has traditionally targeted super-aggressive specs and price points for the biggest markets, like India and China, but Canalys says Xiaomi is now seeing big growth in other territories. The firm’s numbers show Xiaomi growing “300% in Latin America, 150% in Africa, and 50% in Western Europe.” Xiaomi has yet to tackle the US smartphone market in any meaningful way.

Canalys declares Xiaomi to be the second place victor this quarter, but it’s hard not to notice that the BBK conglomerate is all over these market share charts. Canalys and Counterpoint both respect BBK’s brand separations, but if you combined all of BBK’s phone brands—Oppo, Vivo, OnePlus, and Realme—the company would easily be the world’s number 1 smartphone vendor. There are barely any differences between the various brands today anyway. BBK is basically the smartphone market’s version of General Motors, with a million “badge engineered” variants of the same basic phones.

You might remember another Chinese company called “Huawei” that sat at the top of the smartphone market last year. The company has been absolutely destroyed by US sanctions against it. It took a while for the effects to hit the market, but Huawei plummeted from first place in Q2 2020 to bottom of the barrel in Q2 2021. The company isn’t even on Canalys’ top-5 chart, while another research firm, Counterpoint, has Huawei at 4 percent market share in the previous quarter, Q1 2021, which would amount to something like seventh place. We’ll have to wait for more detailed numbers from Counterpoint, but this quarter, Huawei might be approaching LG levels (~2 percent) of market share.

After facing down the immediate effects of COVID, smartphone manufacturers will now need to deal with the global chip shortage, which is already killing some smartphone models and threatening others.

Listing image by Xiaomi

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