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Xiaomi topples Apple in latest global smartphone sales

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Global smartphone sales figures for the second quarter of 2021 published by industry researcher, Gartner Inc. indicate fast rising Chinese mobile handset brand, Mi from Xiaomi has toppled Apple and is now second for the first time only to Samsung.
Per the report, a whopping 328.8 million handsets were sold out over the period, and Samsung accounted for 17.6 per cent of the total with about 57.75 million handsets sold, while Xiaomi sold over 51 million handsets, representing some 15.5 per cent of the total.
Meanwhile, Apple, which had held the number two position for many year, particularly, since Chinese tech giant Huawei started falling off the radar due to US sanctions, has been pushed to the third place with 49.26 million handsets sold, being 15 per cent market share.
Behind Apple was another Chinese brand, Oppo, with over 33.6 million handsets sold, which is 10.2 per cent; then Vivo, another Chinese brand, comes in at the bottom of the top five, with a little over 32.2 million handsets sold, representing 9.8 per cent.
Meanwhile, other handsets combined, including one time top five candidate, Huawei, make up the remaining 104.9 million handsets sold, which is 31.9 per cent.
The year-on-year trends show that while each of the top five brands recorded increases over that of the same period 2020, other handsets saw a decline of about 25 million handsets from same period 2020.
Not only did Xiaomi topple Apple, but it also recorded the biggest jump of almost 23 million handsets year-on-year, making it the biggest winner over the period.
Gartner attributes Xiaomi over 80.5 per cent year-on-year growth in smartphone sales to to a stronger online presence and fast expansion in the global markets beyond Asia/Pacific led by investments in retail channels and partnerships with communication service providers.
Xiaomi’s Mi brand is currently the number brand in Europe and Asia and the company has sworn to become number in Africa soon, as it recently opened its first Western Africa showroom in Accra Ghana.
Meanwhile, Gartner reports that the total number of 328.8 million handsets sold, represent an increase of 10.8% year-on-year, despite supply constraints due to COVID-19 related production disruption and component shortages.
Senior Research Director at Gartner, Anshul Gupta was quoted as saying “reinforced shelter-in-place instructions and factory shut-downs in India and Vietnam due to the second wave of COVID-19, along with closure of retail businesses and restrictions on online deliveries affected smartphone sales negatively in the second quarter after a strong start in beginning of 2021.”  
“However, regions with higher penetration of 5G connectivity saw strong demand for 5G smartphones and were growth drivers for leading smartphone vendors,” he added.
Samsung, according to the report, expanded its 5G smartphone lineup at entry and midrange prices to target growth opportunities in 5G segments in the second quarter of 2021 and that was how it maintained the number one position among the top five global smartphone vendors.
It however observed that, while Samsung continues to be a market leader, its year-over-year growth slowed due to supply constraints and production disruptions.

With Apple, Gupta noted that “While demand for iPhone 12 series smartphones remained strong in the key 5G driven markets, aggressive sales promotion for iPhone 11 series smartphones added to its growth in the price-sensitive segment.”

Other Chinese smartphone vendors Oppo and Vivo grew are also said to be growing on the back o aggressively priced mid-tier smartphones, a wider distribution network and robust marketing campaigns.

While Oppo is making it in Western Europe, Vivo is said to be expanding its market presence beyond Asia/Pacific beginning with a focus on Europe, the Middle East and Africa.

“Demand for smartphones continued to be strong in this quarter as buyers preferred higher specifications and better user experience. The pent-up demand from 2020 continues to drive advantage for global smartphone vendors in 2021,” said Gupta.

Gartner clients can read more in “Market Share: PCs, Ultramobiles and Mobile Phones, All Countries, 2Q21 Update”.

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