According to market research firm Canalys, Xiaomi has overtaken Apple for the first time to become the second-largest smartphone manufacturer in the world.
The Chinese company accounted for 17% of global smartphone shipments in the second quarter of 2021, behind Samsung’s 19%, Canalys said in a report released Thursday. Compared to the same period in 2020, Xiaomi’s shipments have increased by more than 80%.
Apple took third place with shipments accounting for 14% of total worldwide volume. Chinese smartphone makers Oppo and Vivo followed with 10% each.
The Canalys report measures the number of cell phone manufacturers selling to dealers.
This is the first time Xiaomi has finished second in the Canalys report. In the first quarter of 2021 and throughout 2020, Samsung and Apple were the two leading smartphone brands in the world. In 2019, Samsung and Huawei topped the list.
Becoming number two among the world’s carriers is an “important milestone in Xiaomi’s history,” Xiaomi founder and CEO Lei Jun said in a letter to employees on Friday.
“Despite the celebrations now, I want to make sure that we can maintain our second place steadily and firmly in the future,” he said.
Xiaomi’s stock rose nearly 5% in Hong Kong on Friday.
Xiaomi’s global expansion and retail strategy — the company wants its online and brick-and-mortar locations to work together seamlessly — fueled shipment growth in the second quarter, the company said in a statement on Friday.
Canalys research manager Ben Stanton also said in the report that Xiaomi is “rapidly expanding its overseas business”.
According to Canalys, Xiaomi shipments grew more than 300% in the second quarter in Latin America, 150% in Africa, and 50% in Western Europe.
The Chinese smartphone maker is still largely targeting budget-conscious consumers, Stanton said. Compared to Samsung and Apple, Xiaomi’s average retail price is about 40% and 75% cheaper, respectively, he added.
“All carriers are fighting hard to secure the supply of components amid global bottlenecks, but Xiaomi has already set its sights on the next prize: ousting Samsung to become the world’s largest supplier,” said Stanton.
The company has also received a major boost from an improving global economy, Canalys added. The introduction of the vaccine has brought some countries closer to normal and people are spending more money again. In the second quarter of 2021, worldwide smartphone shipments increased by 12%, according to the research firm.
Stanton assumed that selling more of its high-end devices like the Mi 11 Ultra will be a big priority for Xiaomi this year.
“But it will be an uphill battle,” he said as rivals like Oppo and Vivo share the same goal.