Xiaomi overtakes Apple to become the world's second-biggest smartphone maker- All you need to know!

Xiaomi accounted for 17 percent of the worldwide smartphone shipments during the second quarter of 2021, only behind Samsung which accounted for 19 percent of the shipments. Apple ranked third with 14 percent of the global shipments. 

Created On: Jul 20, 2021 13:19 ISTModified On: Jul 20, 2021 13:19 IST

Xiaomi surpassed Apple to become the world's second-largest smartphone maker for the first-time ever, as per a report published by market research firm Canalys on July 15, 2021. 

The Chinese smartphone maker accounted for 17 percent of the worldwide smartphone shipments during the second quarter of 2021, only behind Samsung which accounted for 19 percent of the shipments. Apple ranked third with 14 percent of the global shipments. 

Other Chinese smartphone companies -Oppo and Vivo followed, with 10 percent of the smartphone shipments during the same period.

The report further revealed that Xiaomi's shipments jumped more than 80 percent when compared with its performance in the same period in 2020. 

Significance

This is the first-ever time that Chinese company Xiaomi has taken up the second spot among the world's biggest smartphone sellers. The Canalys report bases itself on the number of handsets the manufacturers sell to distributors.

Lei Jun, founder and CEO of Xiaomi said in a letter to the employees of the company that becoming the world no. 2 vendor is an "important milestone in Xiaomi's history." He further added saying "notwithstanding the celebrations now, I want to make sure we can maintain our second place steadily and firmly in the future."

World's top smartphone brands

Historically, Samsung Electronics Co. and Apple Inc have dominated the top two spots among the global smartphone makers. 

Samsung and Apple were the world's top two smartphone brands in the first quarter of 2021 and all of 2020. However, in 2019, Samsung and Huawei were the world's top two smartphone makers. 

Huawei's subsequent fall 

While Huawei Technologies Co. had managed to briefly disrupt the global rankings of smartphone makers, the brand had to witness a subsequent fall in its rankings due to sanctions that cut off its essential chip supplies in 2020. 

Huawei's withdrawal from the highly competitive smartphone market has pushed other Chinese companies to spend aggressively on new hardware and upgrades. 

What has driven Xiaomi’s incredible growth?

Fast Launches

Xiaomi launched two flagship devices within the first four months of the current year. One of the devices- Mi 11 Ultra device-features one of the largest camera sensors in a smartphone till date. 

Pricing 

Xiaomi's average selling price, when compared with Samsung and Apple, is around 40% and 75% cheaper respectively, as per Canalys. 

Global expansion

Overseas expansion has been one of the biggest drivers of Xiaomi’s growth. The company has increased its shipments by more than 300 percent in Latin America, 150 percent across Africa and 50 percent across Western Europe, as per Canalys research. 

Further, the company's retail strategy wherein it wants its online and brick-and-mortar locations to work more seamlessly together also played a huge role in driving up its shipments in the second quarter. 

Slow second quarter for Apple 

Traditionally, the second quarter has been the slowest period for Apple and Samsung, as both companies are amid their preparations for new launches in the following months. 

This year, Apple has asked its suppliers to build as many as 90 million next-generation iPhones, which is a sharp rise from its 2020 iPhone shipments. 

Background 

•Xiaomi Corporation is a Chinese multinational electronics company, which was set up in April 2010. The company makes a wide range of products, starting from smartphones, laptops, home appliances, mobile apps to other products like bags, shoes and consumer electronics.  The Mi smartphones are especially popular due to their great quality and affordability. 

•Xiaomi, which is currently the biggest smartphone maker in China, faces stiff competition from rival companies- Oppo and Vivo, which roughly have an equal share of the local market.

•The Chinese company's major focus this year will be to grow sales of its high-end devices, such as the Mi 11 Ultra. The smartphone maker aims to displace Samsung to become the world's largest vendor. The reviving global economy has given a major boost to the company, as people have started spending again. 

•The global smartphone shipments increased by 12 percent in the second quarter of 2021, as the vaccine rollout led many nations to come out of lockdowns. 

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