What you need to know
- The latest data from Counterpoint Research sees Xiaomi pulling ahead of Samsung for the first time.
- Xiaomi witnessed a monthly sales hike of 26% in June 2021.
- Samsung is likely to retake the lead in the coming months following the launch of the Galaxy Z Fold 3.
According to the latest monthly projections by Counterpoint Research, Xiaomi has dethroned Samsung to become the largest smartphone brand in the world. The data is for June 2021, with Counterpoint noting that Xiaomi's monthly sales increased by 26%, allowing it to sail past Samsung in terms of global monthly smartphone sales (sell-through) volumes.
Counterpoint's data puts Xiaomi's global market share at 17.1%, with Samsung now at 15.7%. This isn't surprising; Xiaomi has consistently been on the rise over the last 18 months, with the Chinese manufacturer's Redmi series driving a bulk of its global sales. With the Redmi Note 10 Pro becoming the budget phone to beat and the Mi 11 Ultra on par with the best Android phones, Xiaomi has strengthened its portfolio in 2021.
The firm's Research Director Tarun Pathak notes that Xiaomi's surge was in part due to easing of pandemic restrictions. Samsung's manufacturing woes — where its Vietnam plant was closed due to COVID-19 — also ended up assisting Xiaomi:
The momentum is likely to swing back to Samsung in the coming months; the brand is set to introduce the Galaxy Z Fold 3 on August 11, and launch new models in the Galaxy A series in the coming months. But with Xiaomi increasingly gaining ground at Samsung's behest, it's clear that the South Korean manufacturer needs to rethink its strategy if it wants to hold on to its crown.
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Harish Jonnalagadda is a Senior Editor overseeing Asia at Android Central. He leads the site's coverage of Chinese phone brands, contributing to reviews, features, and buying guides. He also writes about storage servers, audio products, and the semiconductor industry. Contact him on Twitter at @chunkynerd.