Xiaomi Corp. has overtaken Apple Inc as the world's No 2 smartphone maker in the last quarter following an 83% jump in shipments, according to preliminary estimates by a Canalys report.
The Chinese smartphone maker for the first time has broken into the top two, which was historically dominated by Samsung Electronics Co. and Apple Inc. According to Canalys, Xiaomi took the second spot with 17% share of worldwide smartphone shipments, up 3% from the previous quarter. Global smartphone shipments grew 12% in the second quarter, led by Samsung Electronics with a 19% share, and Apple at third place with a 14% share. Shares of Xiaomi rallied as much as 4.1% on Friday, the best performer on Hong Kong's benchmark Hang Seng Index.
"Compared with Samsung and Apple, its average selling price is around 40% and 75% cheaper respectively," said Canalys Research Manager Ben Stanton. "So a major priority for Xiaomi this year is to grow sales of its high-end devices, such as the Mi 11 Ultra. But it will be a tough battle, with Oppo and Vivo sharing the same objective, and both willing to spend big on above-the-line marketing to build their brands in a way that Xiaomi is not," he said.
Overseas expansion was the biggest driver of Xiaomi's growth, as the company's shipments jumped more than 300% in Latin America, 150% Africa and 50% in Western Europe, the report said. The Mi device maker has spent the first half of the year contesting the title of biggest smartphone maker in China with rivals Oppo and Vivo, each with roughly equal share of the market.
Xiaomi has been particularly active, launching two flagship devices within the first four months of the year. Its Mi 11 Ultra device features one of the largest camera sensors in a smartphone to date, underscoring the firm's ambition to push up into the premium pricing range.
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