Apple Q2 2020Source: iMore

What you need to know

  • Xiaomi has become the number two smartphone vendor in the second quarter of 2021.
  • Apple has dropped into third place.

Xiaomi has surpassed Apple as the number two smartphone manufacturer in the world.

A new report from analytics firm Canalys reveals that Xiaomi has become the number two smartphone vendor in the world for the first time, surpassing Apple who is now in third place.

Canalys Research Manager Ben Stanton said that the company has experienced massive growth in a number of regions, attributing their success to the fact that their phones tend to be up to 75% cheaper than their competitors while offering similar features.

"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. 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."

12131563132021q2 Smartphone PrelimSource: Canalys

Stanton went on to say that, while it has experienced impressive growth with its low and mid-range phone sales, it will have a harder time with its high-end devices.

"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. 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."

Interestingly, a similar thing happened with Xiaomi and Apple back in the third quarter of 2020, so this may be more of a temporary event than a permanent trend.

Apple could bounce back and take its second-place position back from Xiaomi if it sees a successful launch of the iPhone 13, which is expected to debut this fall. The upcoming iPhone is expected to feature serious upgrades in the camera and battery life as well as its display.

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