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iPhone again most popular smartphone during the 2021 holiday quarter

Apple Iphone Ipad Availability Beijing Iphone 13 Pro Close Up
Apple Iphone Ipad Availability Beijing Iphone 13 Pro Close Up (Image credit: Apple)

What you need to know

  • Apple's iPhone made up 22% of global smartphone shipments in Q4 2021.
  • Samsung's phones made up 20% of global shipments.
  • An analyst report believes that supply constraints prevented a stronger lead for iPhone.

Just has as become the norm in recent years Apple's iPhone lineup was the most popular among smartphone buyers during Q4 2021, according to numbers shared by Canalys.

According to numbers shared by Canalys, 22% of all smartphones shipped during the holiday quarter had an Apple logo on the back while 20% sported the Samsung name. Xiaomi sat in the third spot with 12% of the market.

Apple accounted for 22% of worldwide smartphone shipments in Q4 2021, thanks to strong demand for the iPhone 13. But overall shipments for the quarter grew just 1%, as vendors faced supply chain problems and a resurgence in COVID-19 cases. Samsung took second place, down from the top spot in Q3 2021, with a market share of 20%. Xiaomi maintained its third-place position with a 12% share. OPPO and vivo completed the top five with 9% and 8% shares respectively.

Canalys Smartphone Market Q

Canalys Smartphone Market Q (Image credit: Canalys)

While Apple is beginning to get a grip on iPhone 13 demand, the same report suggests that it could have outsold Samsung by a wider margin if it had been able to produce more handsets. Apple had to reduce the production of iPhone 13-series devices following component shortages.

Compared with the performance from 2020, Apple's market share actually fell 1 percentage point while Samsung's fared considerably better — it rose 3 percentage points when compared with the same quarter the year prior.

Apple has the best iPhone lineup it's ever boasted right now and that is set to change yet again with the rumored launch of the refreshed iPhone SE within the next few months. That will of course be backed up by the expected iPhone 14 announcement in or around September.

Oliver Haslam
Contributor

Oliver Haslam has written about Apple and the wider technology business for more than a decade with bylines on How-To Geek, PC Mag, iDownloadBlog, and many more. He has also been published in print for Macworld, including cover stories. At iMore, Oliver is involved in daily news coverage and, not being short of opinions, has been known to 'explain' those thoughts in more detail, too.

Having grown up using PCs and spending far too much money on graphics card and flashy RAM, Oliver switched to the Mac with a G5 iMac and hasn't looked back. Since then he's seen the growth of the smartphone world, backed by iPhone, and new product categories come and go. Current expertise includes iOS, macOS, streaming services, and pretty much anything that has a battery or plugs into a wall. Oliver also covers mobile gaming for iMore, with Apple Arcade a particular focus. He's been gaming since the Atari 2600 days and still struggles to comprehend the fact he can play console quality titles on his pocket computer.