Back in July at the end of Q2 2021, we heard some very exciting news. Multiple outlets confirmed that Apple had lost its usual status as the world’s second-largest smartphone OEM.
The company that knocked Apple down a peg was Xiaomi. However, it appears Xiaomi’s hold on that second-place position could be fleeting, as at least one outlet is reporting Apple has reclaimed its second-place status.
According to IDC, Apple shipped 50.4 million smartphones over the third quarter of 2021. That’s about 6.1 million more phones than Xiaomi shipped during that same period. By this sole metric, Xiaomi is back in third place.
However, there are a lot of other factors that decide the top-five status of global smartphone OEMs. Yearly shipments, for example, might be a more over-arching metric than quarterly. Revenue is another marker as well as in which pricing category the bulk of smartphones land (premium, mid-range, budget, etc.). The point is that by this one metric — the number of smartphones shipped over one quarter — Apple is Number Two.
Of course, Samsung remains comfortably in the top slot at 69 million phones shipped, roughly 18.6 million more than Apple and 24.7 million more than Xiaomi. Rounding out the fourth and fifth place slots we see a tie between Vivo and Oppo, which is how the list usually looks.
The list used to look a lot different. There was a time that Huawei was in the top five and even a very brief moment in which it overtook Samsung for the top slot. However, Huawei no longer appears in even the top ten — and likely won’t for a long time.