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Xiaomi Leads 5G Android Phone Shipments Globally, Captures 26 Percent Market in Q2 2021: Strategy Analytics

Xiaomi topped the 5G Android phone shipments globally in the second quarter of 2021, according to an analyst firm. The Chinese company brought a list of 5G phones to the market in its Mi- and Redmi-series in the last few months to take on the competition. The launch of new 5G phones seems to have helped Xiaomi take on the likes of its homegrown competitor BBK Electronics that has an army of smartphone subsidiaries including Vivo, Oppo, Realme, and OnePlus. Xiaomi’s growth could also be a caution for Samsung that had gained early attention in 5G Android phone market worldwide.

Citing its latest research, Strategy Analytics said that Xiaomi captured a share of 26 percent in the overall 5G Android phone shipments worldwide. The Beijing-headquartered company shipped 24.3 million units of the total 95 million 5G Android phones shipped globally in the second quarter of 2021, according to the firm.

“Over the past nine quarters, Xiaomi has cumulatively shipped 70 million 5G smartphones,” said Ken Hyers, Director at Strategy Analytics. “Xiaomi’s performance places it closely behind Samsung, which has shipped an impressive 77 million 5G smartphones worldwide over the previous 10 quarters.”

Hyers added by saying that Samsung shipped the world’s first 5G smartphones beginning in the first quarter of 2019.

With the increase in the number of shipments, Xiaomi registered a year-on-year growth of 452 percent in the second quarter. A recent report by Counterpoint showed that the company, which started selling phones exactly ten years back in August 2011, also emerged as the number one smartphone brand in global monthly smartphone sales (sell-through) volumes in June.

Although Xiaomi continued to take on the competition, Huawei remained the cumulative 5G phone leader among Android vendors, according to Strategy Analytics. The company shipped 95 million 5G phones worldwide over the past nine quarters. However, the US sanctions have resulted in a significant drop in its shipment volumes and that collapse has “opened the door” for other Chinese vendors including LenovoMotorola, Realme, Oppo, and Honor, Strategy Analytics Associate Director Ville-Petteri Ukonaho said.

Xiaomi was followed by Vivo that managed to capture an 18.5 percent share of the 5G Android phone shipments worldwide in the second quarter. It shipped 17.5 million units during the quarter to rank second in the market.

Vivo sibling Oppo came third with a share of 17.9 percent, followed by Samsung and Realme that both captured 16.5 and 5.9 percent market share, respectively.

In terms of year-on-year growth, Strategy Analytics said that Lenovo-Motorola was the leader with its shipments hitting a whopping 3,480 percent annually in the second quarter. The amalgamation of Lenovo and Motorola, however, had a volume of 1.8 million shipments for the quarter alone.

Realme ranked second in annual growth with 1,773 percent year-on-year increase in volumes in the second quarter of the year, followed by OnePlus that ranked third with its shipments volume growing 877 percent annually.

Top 5 smartphone vendors in 5G Android market globally in Q2 2021

Smartphone vendor Shipments (in million) Market share Year-on-Year growth Cumulative shipments growth since Q1 2019
Xiaomi 24.3 25.7% 452% 70.4
Vivo 17.5 18.5% 218% 66.8
Oppo 16.9 17.9% 231% 67.5
Samsung 15.6 16.5% 126% 76.5
Realme 5.6 5.9% 1773% 12.9

Honor — the company that parted ways with Huawei in November — shipped 6.5 million 5G phones in the last two quarters, Strategy Analytics reported. The company notably started its 5G phone shipments mid-way through the first quarter of 2021.

“Lenovo-Motorola, Realme, OnePlus and Honor, are well-positioned for strong growth in the second half of 2021 and in 2022, as they focus on markets and segment such as mid-tier 5G smartphones not fully dominated by their larger peers,” said Yiwen Wu, Senior Analyst at Strategy Analytics.

Last month, a report by consulting firm Kantar showed that demand of 5G phones has grown significantly among customers. That report indicated that over two-thirds of customers in major markets planning to purchase a new smartphone in the next six months prefer getting a 5G model.

Having said that, major markets including India are yet to see the rollout of 5G. Companies including Apple have also just started their journey in the 5G market. It is, therefore, too early to judge whether the next generation of cellular technology would be able to gain more traction over 4G LTE in the worldwide markets and what benefits it would eventually enable for customers — beyond giving faster Internet speeds to access Web services.

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