No one is in any doubt any more, in 2021 we will see Xiaomi overtake Apple and become the second-largest smartphone manufacturer.
Xiaomi is still on a roll and this is a maxim that almost doesn’t matter when you read it because the Chinese giant’s movements are counted by successes no matter what gardens it gets into.
The latest to agree with Lei Jun’s team are the consultants at Canalys. They say that Xiaomi has just signed its best quarter ever in smartphone sales, placing it within striking distance of Apple in market share and very well-positioned to overtake it this year.
According to expert reports only a tiny percentage point separates Xiaomi from the Apple giant, placing Xiaomi as third globally in mobile shipments with the highest year-on-year growth of the big five manufacturers.
Xiaomi is already challenging Apple in the smartphone industry, very close in market share, and with unparalleled growth, it could even surpass them as early as the second quarter of 2021.
As you will see in the graph below, Xiaomi has grown in the past Q1 of 2021 by no less than 62% compared to the same period of 2020, adding up to 49 million cell phones delivered and taking 14% of the market in its income statement.
Second in line is Apple, growing 41% year-on-year to 52.4 million iPhones shipped and rising from a 14% share to 15% in these first months of 2021.
And as always in recent years, the first place goes to Samsung, which maintains its lead, growing by 28% to maintain its 22% market share with 76.5 million phones shipped.
Experts say that the gap between Apple and Xiaomi has never been so narrow and that indeed the success of the Chinese manufacturer is focused on maintaining its quality/price policy, but now also competing at the most premium level of the industry:
Its competitors offer superior margins, but Xiaomi’s large sales volume grants distributors a better opportunity to make money. The race is not over, OPPO and Vivo are hot on their heels as well and are positioning themselves in many regions to narrow Xiaomi’s penetration levels. Ben Stanton, Canalys analyst.