Xiaomi Overtakes Apple As World’s No. 2 Smartphone Brand

Xiaomi logo


It’s a big time for Xiaomi, a Chinese electronics brand that’s taken the world by storm in just about a decade of existence. The brand has overtaken Apple to become the number 2 smartphone vendor in the world, according to info published by research firm Canalys


Canalys is a reputed research firm whose statistics are a major standard in the smartphone business. 
  • According to Canalys, Xiaomi accounted for 17% of global smartphone shipments in the 2nd quarter of 2021, surpassing Apple’s 14% and now trailing only Samsung’s 19%. More so, the annual growth of Xiaomi’s smartphone shipments was 83%, surpassing that of the other brands by a wide margin.
Credit: Canalys


  • According to Canalys, the top 5 smartphone vendors are Samsung, Xiaomi, Apple, Oppo, and Vivo. Interestingly, both Oppo and Vivo seem to be offshoots of one Chinese company named BBK Electronics though the specifics around that are unclear (if wholly-owned or just affiliates), so it seems BBK could even be the world’s biggest smartphone vendor with a combined 20%.
  • Xiaomi’s smartphones have attracted customers at an astonishing rate thanks to its strategy of offering premium features at prices significantly lower than that of competitors. In 2020 alone, the company reported selling 10 million “premium” phones, premium defined as costing over RMB3,000 ($460).
  • Xiaomi doesn’t just sell smartphones but also an array of other electronics such as scooters, smartwatches, laptops, and drones. Last year, the company had total sales of $38bn.
  • With its annual growth rate (83% according to Canalys), it seems that Xiaomi could break more ground in the smartphone industry and possibly surpass Samsung to become the world’s no. 1 smartphone brand. But in that case, it doesn’t command as near much money from smartphone sales as Samsung and Apple, whose products are usually priced far higher than Xiaomi’s.
  • For context, Apple sold $48bn worth of iPhones in the three months of January-March 2021, surpassing Xiaomi’s entire annual sales of $38bn in 2020 in just one quarter with the iPhone alone. 

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