Xiaomi ranked second among smartphone vendors as Huawei drops out of top five

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Research firm Canalys has shared its smartphone vendor report for Q2 2021 and it makes for truly interesting reading, especially if you like us, have been following the trajectory of Chinese phone makers in recent years. This as three vendors of Chinese origin make up the top five, with the biggest moves being Xiaomi overtaking Apple for second spot and Huawei dropping out of the top five altogether.

The latter is to be expected given how heavily US sanctions have affected Huawei’s operations. This is also the same company that did Xiaomi’s recent feat back in 2018 and eyeing the number one spot before the Trump administration placed Huawei on the entity list. Whether it will be able to claw back this lost ground is unclear, but for now it looks like three other Chinese competitors are looking to cement their places.

To that end, Oppo and Vivo claimed the fourth and fifth spots in the list respectively, each accounting for 10 percent of market share.

Naturally Samsung is still in pole position, but the South Korean outfit is not streaks ahead of Xiaomi. The latter is in fact within touching distance with 17 percent market share for Q2 compared to Samsung’s 19 percent. As for Apple, it has fallen off the pace and has 14 percent market share for the most recent quarter.

Image created by Canalys.

As for why Xiaomi was able to claim the number two spot, Canalys explains that the company’s current strategy of expansion in overseas markets is reaping benefits. The same goes for Oppo and Vivo, with all three brands’ profiles rising in South Africa over the past year.

“Xiaomi is growing its overseas business rapidly. For example, its shipments increased more than 300% in Latin America, 150% Africa and 50% in Western Europe. And as it grows, it evolves. It is now transforming its business model from challenger to incumbent, with initiatives such as channel partner consolidation and more careful management of older stock in the open market,” notes Canalys Research manager, Ben Stanton.

“It is still largely skewed toward the mass market, however, and compared with Samsung and Apple, its average selling price is around 40% and 75% cheaper respectively. So a major priority for Xiaomi this year is to grow sales of its high-end devices, such as the Mi 11 Ultra. But 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,” he adds.

As such, it will be interesting to see whether devices like the newly unveiled Redmi Note 10 Series will help Xiaomi retain its second position and potentially push for number one in the coming quarters.

Either way, the recent report has Xiaomi beaming, as the company took to social media to highlight the accolade.


Robin-Leigh Chetty

Robin-Leigh Chetty

Editor of Hypertext. Covers smartphones, IoT, 5G, cloud computing and a few things in between. Also a keen photographer and dabbles in console games when not taking the hatchet to stories.


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