Tech giant Apple dropped to third place in share of the global smartphone market as economic recovery from the coronavirus pandemic drove an uptick in demand for the devices, according to preliminary data from research firm Canalys.
Samsung manufactured 19% of smartphones that shipped worldwide in the second quarter of 2021, according to the firm’s quarterly estimates. Chinese smartphone maker Xiaomi ranked second for the first time, with a 17% share of the market. Apple ranked third with a 14% share.
"Xiaomi is growing its overseas business rapidly," Canalys Research Manager Ben Stanton said in a statement. "For example, its shipments increased more than 300% in Latin America, 150% Africa and 50% in Western Europe."
Smartphone pricing likely played a major role in Xiaomi’s unit sales growth. The company’s phones have an average sale price that is 75% cheaper than Apple’s iPhones and 40% cheaper than Samsung’s smartphones, according to Canalys.
Apple’s smartphone shipments rose 1% compared to the same quarter one year earlier. Xiaomi’s shipments rose 83% over the same period, while Samsung’s shipments rose 15%.
"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," Stanton added.
Overall, global smartphone shipments increased 12% during the second quarter. Chinese smartphone manufacturers Oppo and Vivo ranked fourth and fifth, respectively.