The Chinese smartphone maker is now the second-largest smartphone vendor based on worldwide shipments in the second quarter of 2021. For the first time in its history, Xiaomi sold more than Apple. The Beijing-headquartered company had a 17% share of global smartphone shipments, ahead of Apple’s 14%. The South Korean tech giant Samsung is still the largest smartphone maker in the world. Its share in the second quarter was 19%.
Xiaomi continues to expand its operations across the world. The company posted year-on-year shipment growth of 83% versus 15% for Samsung, and 1%, for Apple. But the phones offered by Xioami are still oriented toward the mass market with the average selling price of its handsets 75% cheaper than Apple’s.
However, the Chinese smartphone market is now looking to push into the high-end market. Earlier this year, it launched the Mi 11 Ultra, a premium smartphone that starts at 5,999 yuan ($928). The company also launched its first foldable smartphone called Mi Mix Fold. The company also offers a special version of Mi Mix Fold with a ceramic casing for 12,999 yuan.
The Beijing-headquartered company launched Mi Mix Fold in March 2021. This model has an 8.01-inch display when fully open and when closed, it has a screen on the back. The company’s first foldable smartphone also contains Surge C1, Xioami’s first in-house camera chipset.
That price range pits Xiaomi against Apple as well as Samsung when it comes to the premium segment. Xiaomi is not the only Chinese smartphone maker that wants to sell more expensive smartphones. Oppo, as well as Vivo, are also trying to break through into the premium segment.
Xiaomi and Huawei
Xiaomi benefited from Huawei’s issues. There was a time when Huawei was the largest smartphone maker in the world, but U.S. sanctions cut Huawei off from critical supplies, including software and chips. The biggest effect of that was cutting Huawei off from the Android operating system. That is not a big problem in China, but in the case of international markets, it played an important role as consumers are used to these services.
Huawei shipped 33 million smartphones in the fourth quarter of 2020, down nearly 43% from last year. That made the Chinese tech giant the sixth biggest smartphone maker in the December quarter. For the entire 2020 year, the company was the third-largest by smartphone shipments.