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The rise of Xiaomi in Europe

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The stranglehold of smartphone giants Apple and Samsung on the European market seems to be loosening up as competitors gain a larger piece of the smartphone pie in Europe, with China’s Xiaomi fast catching up in 2020, amid a tough year for the smartphone industry in Europe.

According to data presented by TradingPlatforms.com, as of Q2 2021, Xiaomi has a 24% share of European smartphone sales compared to just 4% in Q1 2019.

In 2020, the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic decreased demand significantly, while lockdowns around the world also caused supply-chain issues, causing a downturn for the industry.

Smartphone giants Apple and Samsung were not immune to the effects of the pandemic and still continue to struggle against the lingering effects of 2020 in the first half of 2021.

This allowed Chinese consumer electronics company Xiaomi to strengthen its presence in the European continent. By Q2 2021, Xiaomi overtook Apple as Europe’s second-largest smartphone vendor with a 24% share of all smartphone shipments in Europe, behind leader Samsung’s 30% share.

 

Smartphone industry showing signs of recovery

The smartphone industry in Europe is presently showing signs of recovery, albeit still below pre-pandemic levels. Xiaomi’s YoY growth in smartphone sales reached 151% compared to Samsung’s 20% and Apple’s 55%, allowing it to grow from holding just a 4% share of the market in 2019.

Xiaomi did well to capitalise on the last couple of months being Apple’s midpoint between product launches, allowing them to overtake them for second place. Samsung themselves have run into more supply chain issues due to COVID-19 related shutdowns in places where their factories are located, further opening the window for Xiaomi.

In January 2021, Xiaomi had the lowest share of smartphone sales in Europe out of the three brands, at just 17.3% compared to Samsung’s 27.4% and Apple’s 33.6%. By the end of the second quarter of 2021, Xiaomi had leapfrogged both brands with a 27.2% share of smartphone sales in June.

Xiaomi edged out Samsung at 26.9% and widened the gap with Apple that had a 20.4% share of sales.

“Xiaomi’s rise in Q2 2021, while opportunistic, was just the latest evidence of the brand’s rising influence in Europe,” explained Rex Pascual, editor at TradingPlatforms.com.

“Considering the brand had less than a 5% share of smartphone sales just two years prior is a testament to a strong performance in recent years. In July, Xiaomi had reportedly passed Apple as the world’s second-largest smartphone maker, proving that its influence in the European continent is poised to grow even more in the coming years.”