Xiaomi became the world’s second-largest smartphone maker last quarter, after an 83% jump in shipments, according to Canalys’ preliminary estimates.
This is the first time that the Chinese company, Xiaomi, the maker of everything from rice cookers to gaming monitors, has entered the exclusive first and second territory, which has historically been dominated by South Korea’s Samsung with a 17% share and US Apple with a 14% share, according to company data. Research.
Xiaomi shares rose 4.1% on Friday, the best performer on the Hang Seng benchmark in Hong Kong.
China’s Huawei also held the rankings for a while, until US sanctions removed it and cut supplies of essential chips from it last year. Its withdrawal from the highly competitive smartphone market has prompted other Chinese manufacturers to spend aggressively on new devices and upgrades.
Xiaomi has been particularly active, launching two flagship devices during the first four months of the year. The Mi 11 Ultra features one of the largest camera sensors in any smartphone to date, underlining the company’s ambition to move up to the premium pricing range.
“Compared to Samsung and Apple, the average selling price of Xiaomi devices is about 40% and 75% lower, respectively,” said Ben Stanton, Canalys Research Director. “So Xiaomi’s main priority this year is to increase sales of its high-end devices, such as the Mi 11 But it will be a tough battle, as Oppo and Vivo share the same goal, and both are willing to spend big on online marketing to build their brand in a way that Xiaomi doesn’t.”
Expansion abroad has been the biggest driver of Xiaomi’s growth, with the company increasing shipments by more than 300% in Latin America, 150% across Africa and 50% in Western Europe, according to Canalys.
The Mi device maker spent the first half of the year vying for the title of largest smartphone maker in China with rivals Oppo and Vivo, each with roughly equal market share.
The second quarter has traditionally been the quietest period for Apple and Samsung, as both are preparing to launch a new phone in the coming months. The iPhone maker has asked suppliers to make up to 90 million new-generation iPhones this year, a sharp increase from device shipments from 2020, Bloomberg reported earlier this week.