Canalys 2Q-2021 smartphone rankings show big gains for Xiaomi and OPPO

Telecom, IT and cloud market research firm Canalys, said that global smartphone shipments increased by 12% in the second quarter of 2021.   Samsung still maintains its position as the world’s number one with a market share of 19%. Xiaomi’s mobile phone sales surpassed Apple’s and rose to the second place in the world for the first time, with a share of 17%. Apple ranked third with 14%. OPPO and Vivo ranked fourth and fifth in the world, with a market share of 10%.

Xiaomi’s growth rate is as high as 83%, making it the top five mobile phone brand with the fastest growth rate in market share.  Lei Jun, the founder and CEO of Xiaomi, sent three consecutive Weibo messages to express his congratulations to Xiaomi, and at the same time released the “Open Letter to Xiaomi Students.” Lei Jun said that Xiaomi’s becoming the second ranked global smartphone vendor is a major milestone in the history of Xiaomi’s development.

In the third quarter of 2014, Xiaomi entered the top three in the world for the first time, and then encountered huge difficulties, and soon fell out of the top five in the world. In 2020, the launch of Xiaomi Mi 10 series will fully launch the development of Xiaomi mobile phones. In the high-end journey, in the third quarter of the same year, Xiaomi returned to the third place in the world. Only two quarters later, Xiaomi was promoted to the second place in the world.

Lei Jun also said that “the second in the world” is a major victory for Xiaomi’s strategy. In August last year, Xiaomi established its core strategy for the next ten years-mobile phone X AIoT, once again clarifying the core position of the smartphone business, progressing to promote intelligent interconnection, and the AIoT business will build a smart life around the core business of mobile phones. At the same time, it has established the “three iron laws” that will never change: technology-oriented, cost-effectiveness-oriented, and making the coolest products.

About Xiaomi:

Xiaomi is an electronics company based in Beijing, China.  It was founded by Lei Jun in April 2010, and in 2014, Xiaomi was the largest smartphone company in China. Today, Xiaomi is one of the top five smartphone vendors in the world.

The “MI” in their logo stands for “Mobile Internet.” It also has other meanings, including “Mission Impossible”, because Xiaomi faced many challenges that had seemed impossible to defy in our early days.


Meanwhile, Canalys said that OPPO ranked first among Android smartphone manufacturers.  In addition to launching 5G phones in the full price range to meet the different needs of consumers, OPPO has been actively taking the lead in applying new technologies to its latest models.

Canalys wrote that in Middle East and Africa, OPPO has climbed to fourth place in market share with a 106% year-on-year growth. The United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia have been at the forefront of this rise, witnessing a 196% and a 218% year-on-year growth respectively which was attributed to OPPO’s innovative product offering and strong customer service. In addition, OPPO saw a year-on-year growth of 79% in Egypt.

Ethan Xue, President of OPPO MEA said, “We are proud to see our innovative products and customer-centric approach being well received and reflected in these promising figures. Our growth in the MENA region is phenomenal and illustrates the strong customer base we have that support us and understand our brand mission, technology for mankindkindness for the world. At OPPO, we continue to push the boundaries and our growth only serves to motivate us even more to offer our customers the best possible products at competitive prices.”

The main proponent of the brands growth is strong product launches that closely align with the evolving demands of smartphone users. Earlier this month, OPPO launched the anticipated Reno6 series, comprising of three variations, the Reno6 Pro 5GReno6 5G, and the Reno6 Z 5G that have all been masterfully designed for trendsetting individuals, game enthusiasts and the young at heart. From stunning design details to powerful features, the Reno6 series is already proving to be popular in the region, with a 300% pre-order increase compared to its predecessor, solidifying the demand for the technology brand in MENA.

About OPPO:

OPPO is headquartered in Dongguan, China an has been a leading global technology brand since 2004, dedicated to providing products that seamlessly combines art and innovative technology.

OPPO says they’re on a mission to building a multiple-access smart device ecosystem for the era of intelligent connectivity. The smartphone devices have simply been a gateway for OPPO to deliver a diverse portfolio of smart and frontier technologies in hardware, software and system. In 2019, OPPO launched a $7 Billion US Dollar three-year investment plan in R&D to develop core technologies furthering design through technology.

For the last 10 years, OPPO has focused on manufacturing smartphones with camera capabilities that are second to none. OPPO launched the first mobile phone, the Smile Phone, in 2008, which marked the launch of the brand’s epic journey in exploring and pioneering extraordinary technology. Over the years, OPPO has built a tradition of being number one, which became a reality through inventing the world’s first rotating camera smartphone way back in 2013, launching the world’s then thinnest smartphone in 2014, being the first to introduce 5X Zoom ‘Periscope’ camera technology and developing the first 5G commercial smartphone in Europe.

OPPO is currently ranked as the number four smartphone brand globally. OPPO brings the aesthetics of technology of global consumers through the ColorOS system Experience, and Internet service like OPPO Cloud and OPPO+.

OPPO’s business covers 40 countries with over six research institutes and five R&D centers across the world, from San Francisco to Shenzhen. OPPO also opened an International Design Centre headquartered in London, driving cutting edge technology that will shape the future not only for smartphones but for intelligent connectivity.


NEW for 3Q2021 Rankings:


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  1. India’s ultra premium smartphone market witnessing intensified competition; 60-80% growth likely driven by Apple. The over $700 segment is expected to surge 60-80% on-year in 2021 on pent-up demand, market trackers said, as consumers who did not upgrade their smartphone in 2020 due to the Covid-19 pandemic que up to buy expensive devices.

    The ultra-premium smartphone segment is witnessing intensified competition with established players Apple, Samsung and OnePlus vying with new entrants like Vivo for a greater share of consumer wallets in the festive season.

    Handset brands Q2 2021
    Apple 49%
    OnePlus 32%
    Samsung 9%
    Vivo 4%
    Others 5%
    Ultra-premium segment: $700 and above
    Source: Counterpoint Research
    The over $700 segment is expected to surge 60-80% on-year in 2021 on pent-up demand, market trackers said, as consumers who did not upgrade their smartphone in 2020 due to the Covid-19 pandemic que up to buy expensive devices.

    “The significant growth in these segments can be attributed to increased consumer spending on luxury/costly product segments, re-allocating spends from holidays, shopping, travel, dine out etc,” Navkendar Singh, research director at market insights firm IDC, told ET. “We expect this momentum to only grow further in the upcoming festive season, driven by upgraders within premium and from the $500-$700 segment.”

    Counterpoint Research has forecast that Apple, Samsung, OnePlus, and Vivo will drive the ultra-premium market, which is expected to witness more than 60% on-year growth in 2021.

    “Competition will be very high in this segment, with Apple likely to corner the lion’s share of around 40% in Q3. We have seen high shipments of iPhone 11 and 12 in August, and it will continue coupled with the iPhone 13 series,” Prachir Singh, senior research analyst at Counterpoint, said. “Apple is filling channels.”

    IDC data for the April-June period showed that the $700-$1,000 segment grew 80% compared to 2019, while the $1,000 segment surged over 200%, with 2020 being a washout year owing to the pandemic.

    “Almost 97% of the India market is under $500. However, there is a strong uptake in the $700-$1,000 price segment over the past few quarters,” Singh said. The $700+ segment has gone up from 1% share in 2019 to 2.3% in 2021, he added.

    Due to supply constraints impacting the entire mobile phone ecosystem, premium players have tried to push in adequate stocks, including of older models, ahead of the festive season, market trackers said. They are also offering upfront discounts and cashbacks besides financing schemes and trade-in programs to attract buyers. The premium segment – over Rs 30,000 – contributes 7% by volumes, but 23% by value in the overall smartphones space.

    Samsung’s market share in the segment is also expected to grow due to the launch of its foldable Galaxy Z series, which includes Z Flip 3 and Z Fold 3.

    India’s ultra premium smartphone market witnessing intensified competition; 60-80% growth likely driven by Apple
    A person familiar with Samsung’s sales trends said the total sales of Z Fold3 and Z Flip3 in India are trending higher than its Note 20 Series.

    “By the end of the festive season this year (October end), Z Series devices will surpass Note 20 sales in India. Dealers and retailers across several states are stocked out and waiting for more supplies of the Galaxy Z Series. Nearly 60% of Indian consumers have gone for the pricier Galaxy Z Fold3,” the person added.

    Vivo India, which recently launched its premium X70 series, wants to be player in all price segments, Nipun Marya, director – marketing strategy, told ET.

    “In the last 12-18 months, in offline space, we have been no 1 both volume and value. Customers have given feedback that they want premium products from Vivo. In 2-4 years, the premium segment will continue to grow as customers are upgrading with rising income. Customers are willing to pay a premium for meaningful innovation,” Marya said.

    In two to four years, the premium segment will continue to grow as rising incomes will help consumer will be willing to pay a premium for meaningful innovation and upgrade their phones, he added.

    “It is great timing by Vivo to launch its X70 series since the IPL is ongoing,” said Counterpoint’s Singh.

    OnePlus India, which ventured into the ultra-premium segment in 2019 with 7 Pro and 7T Pro, has cornered 32% share in the ultra-premium segment in the second quarter.

    Backed by a surge in consumers upgrading their smartphones after a year plus of surviving the pandemic, the quarterly shipment numbers are set to cross the 47-49-million-unit mark in pre-Covid 2019.

    “This year, we closed our second quarter with our strongest ever product line-up backed by a strong performance of the OnePlus 9 series. We continue to play a pivotal role in the success of the premium smartphone segment in India,” a company spokesperson said.

    IDC’s Singh said that OnePlus has witnessed a surge with OP9Pro shipments through with middling consumer demand in the past quarters.

    The entry and strong performance of brands like Vivo, Xiaomi, and Oppo have increased competition in the overall premium smartphone segment (over Rs 30,000) which grew 122% on-year in the second quarter, capturing 7% of the overall market, according to Counterpoint.

    The research firm expects the segment to grow 54% on year in 2021, or a 7% share in the overall market.

    “Apple, OnePlus, Vivo, Xiaomi, and Samsung are expected to drive the premium smartphone market,” said Counterpoint’s Singh.

    A spokesperson for Xiaomi India said the company had a 14% share of the overall premium market in the second quarter. “…As we continue to grow in the market, we (will) work towards making Xiaomi a premium aspirational brand in India.”

    Apple has managed to retain its dominance in the tablet market as the company’s popular iPad series recorded a sizeable 58 per cent revenue share during the second quarter of this year, a report said.

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