Backward step for Xiaomi: Samsung and Apple ahead again

World market power ratios in Q3 2021 show a shift in rankings between Apple and Xiaomi. Concerns about the chip crisis

The struggle to get the better of the competition in the global ranking compiled by Canalys was and remains tight, with many giants vying for the top five positions - as many as the company's analysts observe. But in 2021, more than in 2020, the focus is not so much on the values in the field as on the condition of the entire industry.

First, the plant stoppage due to Covid-19 and then the strong recovery in demand caused the so-called chip crisis with which all players in the field, leaders and comprimarios, must measure themselves. "The smartphone industry is trying to maximize the production of devices in the best possible way. On the supply side, chipset manufacturers are raising prices to discourage over-orders in an effort to close the gap between supply and demand. Despite this, the downturn won't ease until well into 2022, so companies have been forced to raise device list prices," said Ben Stanton, Principal Analyst at Canalys.

The Apple vs. Xiaomi shift

The quarter ending in September highlighted a step backward by Xiaomi. Not in absolute terms, since the Beijing company's market share remained unchanged compared to the previous quarter, but in relation to its competitors. Specifically, the "responsible" for Xiaomi's retreat has a very specific name and it's that of Apple, which has recorded a small but decisive growth for the purposes of the ranking.

If in the third quarter of 2021 Xiaomi has seen its market share remain stable at 14%, passing from 12% to 15%, Apple, thanks evidently to the iPhone 13 stimulus, has managed to make that small leap that has allowed it to overtake the multifaceted Chinese technology giant. The year-on-year comparison saw Samsung remain at the top of the leaderboard thanks to the fact that in Seoul they kept their 23% share of the global phone market unchanged.

The top of the leaderboard in the third quarter (Q3) of 2020 was occupied by Samsung and in Q3 2021 the situation is unchanged. The only change is, in fact, the turnover in the ranking between Apple and Xiaomi that in Q3 2020 saw the latter ahead, while in Q3 2021 thanks to a 15% of the market Apple can occupy the second box at the expense of Xiaomi (14%). Nothing new to look at the fourth and fifth place, occupied by Vivo and the Oppo group, which in the space of a year have gained 1% each and therefore close Q3 2021 with 10% each of the world market.

Worrying is the pie, not the slices

More than the power relations with competitors, the source of greatest concern for companies is certainly the downturn in the world market: although the proportions between slices is almost unchanged, it is the "pie" to worry since it is definitely smaller for all. The Canalys analysis quantifies that the general downturn due to the chip crisis is quantifiable in 6%, in year-on-year comparison. There is little to celebrate and little to despair about regarding the Q3 2021 ranking, there is only one concern that is the same for all: the chip crisis.