A Chinese smartphone maker just took a big bite out of Apple.
Beijing-based Xiaomi shipped more smartphones worldwide than Apple during the second quarter of this year — edging past the iPhone maker for the first time, according to a report.
Xiaomi was responsible for 17 percent of all smartphone shipments during the April through June period, while Apple shipped 14 percent, according to the report by market analyst Canalys. Meanwhile, South Korean giant Samsung held onto the No. 1 spot, with 19 percent of shipments.
The report comes as Apple pushes high-end devices like the iPhone 12, some of which come with sticker prices of more than $1,000.
Xiaomi, by contrast, sells phones that are 75 percent cheaper than iPhones and 40 percent cheaper than Samsung devices, giving the company a leg up in the developing world, according to Canalys research manager Ben Stanton.
While Samsung held onto the top spot in the second quarter, Xiaomi appears to be rapidly gaining traction. The Beijing-based company’s worldwide shipments increased by 83 percent year-over-year, compared to 15 percent at Samsung and a paltry 1 percent at Apple.
“Xiaomi already has its sights set on the next prize: displacing Samsung to become the world’s largest vendor,” said Stanton.
“Xiaomi is growing its overseas business rapidly,” Stanton said, adding that its shipments increased more than 300 percent year-over-year in Latin America and 150 percent in Africa.
This is not the first time a Chinese phone maker has overtaken Apple. Shenzhen-based Huawei surpassed Apple in smartphone sales for the first time in 2018 — before being essentially barred from the global market through US sanctions levied by the Trump administration.
Huawei was not present in Canalys’ list of the top five smartphone makers in the second quarter of 2021. But the rankings were rounded out by two other Chinese smartphone makers — Oppo and Vivo — who were each responsible for 10 percent of global smartphone shipments.
Apple and Xiaomi did not immediately reply to requests for comment on the report.