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Xiaomi overtakes Samsung to take top spot in European phone shipments in Q2 2021

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The first time Xiaomi has topped the charts in Europe

The Xiaomi Mi 11 offers similar features to Samsung’s S21 ultra for much less money.
Photo by Sam Byford / The Verge

Chinese smartphone maker Xiaomi is continuing to post solid growth. After overtaking Apple as the number two smartphone vendor in the world in the second quarter of 2021, it’s now become the top seller in Europe for the first time, according to new figures from Strategy Analytics.

Xiaomi overtook Samsung to take the top spot in Europe, with 12.7 million phones shipped in Q2, up 67.1 percent year-on-year. Samsung’s shipments fell 7 percent in that same period to 12 million units, though the Korean company remains the world’s biggest phone vendor.

Overall smartphone shipments in Europe increased in 2021 thanks to post-COVID recovery, say Strategy Analytics’ researchers, with Apple also showing decent growth. The iPhone maker was up 15.7 percent compared to 2021 thanks to strong interest in the iPhone 12.

Smartphone shipment figures for Europe in the second quarter of 2021.
Image: Strategy Analytics

Xiaomi’s focus on value, though, seems to have helped broaden its appeal in Europe. “Xiaomi has seen great success in Russia, Ukraine, Spain and Italy among others and found customers eager for its Mi and Redmi series of feature rich, value smartphones,” said Boris Metodiev, associate director at Strategy Analytics, in a press statement.

Xiaomi’s growth has also been assisted by the demise of Huawei, which continues to vacate the European market after its phones lost access to Android and Google services in 2019.

In one of our recent reviews of Xiaomi’s hardware, looking at the company’s flagship Mi 11, we were impressed by the phone’s value. “It costs less than the $799 Galaxy S21 in markets where it’s sold, but in many ways, it has more in common with the $1,199 S21 Ultra,” noted reviewer Sam Byford. “My biggest takeaway from the Mi 11 is that Samsung is lucky Xiaomi doesn’t sell phones in the US.”

Perhaps, buoyed by its success in Europe, Xiaomi will now be considering a US invasion.