Apple is back at the top of the smartphone market

“Apple saw unprecedented iPhone performance in Mainland China” — Canalys press release

From “Apple retakes top spot in global smartphone market in Q4 2021” posted Tuesday:

Apple accounted for 22% of worldwide smartphone shipments in Q4 2021, thanks to strong demand for the iPhone 13. But overall shipments for the quarter grew just 1%, as vendors faced supply chain problems and a resurgence in COVID-19 cases. Samsung took second place, down from the top spot in Q3 2021, with a market share of 20%. Xiaomi maintained its third-place position with a 12% share. OPPO and vivo completed the top five with 9% and 8% shares respectively.

“Apple is back at the top of the smartphone market after three quarters, driven by a stellar performance from the iPhone 13,” said Canalys Analyst Sanyam Chaurasia. “Apple saw unprecedented iPhone performance in Mainland China, with aggressive pricing for its flagship devices keeping the value proposition strong. Apple’s supply chain is starting to recover, but it was still forced to cut production in Q4 amid shortages of key components and could not make enough iPhones to meet demand. In prioritized markets, it maintained adequate delivery times, but in some markets its customers had to wait to get their hands on the latest iPhones.”

Cue the spreadsheet:

My take: Can’t wait for next week’s quarterly results. Traders dumping Apple in today’s rout may wish they hadn’t.


  1. Robert Paul Leitao said:
    All market share is not created equal. Apple’s revenue share and industry profit share in the period will reveal this isn’t any kind of a contest.

    January 18, 2022
    • Kirk DeBernardi said:
      Robert Paul L.

      How dare you bring up facts and logic in the face of FUD.


      January 18, 2022
      • Robert Paul Leitao said:
        Kirk and Joe: What’s too easily overlooked is the robust global market for pre-owned iPhones. While the revenue doesn’t flow through Apple’s books, it supports the purchase of new iPhones and new iPhone prices. Also, the churn rate on Android handsets can be as fast as a few months. iPhones often remain in service for use by a second owner and sometimes a third owner. The economic life of an iPhone is far greater than the economic life of an Android handset. All the while the installed base of iPhone owners and the number of consumers engaged in Apple’s eco-system continues to rise. Seriously, all smartphones are not created equal. It would be far better to count customers and and evaluate customer engagement than count handsets. But that would require qualitative analysis and not just counting “new” handsets sold.

        January 18, 2022

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