According to a report by Canalys, Xiaomi displaced Apple as the world’s second-largest smartphone vendor.
The Beijing based tech firm’s smartphone sales for the second quarter of 2021 now comprise 17% of the global market surpassing Apple at 14%. It is now only behind Samsung which occupies the top spot with 19%. Oppo and Vivo followed at 4th and 5th with 10% each.
This would be the first time that Xiaomi takes second place according to the report. In the first quarter of this year and the whole of 2020 Samsung and Apple occupied first and second place respectively. In 2019 it was Samsung and Huawei.
In a letter to employees CEO of Xiaomi Lei Jun marked this feat as an “important milestone in Xiaomi’s history.”
“Notwithstanding the celebrations now, I want to make sure we can maintain our second place steadily and firmly in the future,” he added.
What’s more impressive, however, is just how much Xiaomi has managed to increase its sales volume. Xiaomi shipments increase by a whopping 83% in Q2 2020 whereas Samsung’s increased by 15% and Apple by a meagre 1%.
He said in a report that Xiaomi has been “growing its overseas business rapidly.” Ben Stanton Canalys Research Manager cites sales boosts in Western Europe by 50%, 150% in Africa and an impressive 300% in Latin America.
Stanton however explained that Xiaomi is still targeting budget-minded consumers. Xiaomi phones are averagely 40% cheaper than Samsung phones and 75% cheaper than Apple devices.
“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.
If they are going to do this, they will however have to change tact by growing their sales of its high-end devices such as the Mi 11 Ultra ($928) and Mi Mix Fold. Domestic rivals Oppo and Vivo are also trying to break their way into the high-end market.
“It will be a tough battle with Oppo and Vivo sharing the same objective, and both willing to spend big on above-the-line marketing to build their brands in a way that Xiaomi is not,” says Stanton.
One of the major factors behind Xiaomi’s rise has been the struggle of domestic giant Huawei. Following U.S sanctions that cut off the Chinese company from critical supplies of chips and software, Huawei lost its crown as the largest smartphone player in the world to South Korean based Samsung.
Xiaomi’s rise and displacement of perhaps America’s largest and most profitable tech company may however be an indication of the shifting tech power from the West to the East. As Silicon Valley focused on software it left a vacuum that companies from China, Japan and South Korea have been happy to fill.