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Apple takes back top spot in smartphone market thanks to iPhone 13

The tech giant accounted for 22% of the worldwide smartphone market at the end of 2021.
Written by Allison Murray, Staff Writer

Apple took the top spot in the global smartphone market in 2021, thanks to the iPhone 13's success. 

A new report from Canalys shows that Apple's phones accounted for 22% of smartphone shipments globally at the end of 2021. Canalys noted that the last time Apple ranked number one in the smartphone market was in Q4 of 2020. 

"Apple saw unprecedented iPhone performance in Mainland China, with aggressive pricing for its flagship devices keeping the value proposition strong," Canalys analyst Sanyam Chaurasia said in a statement. "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."

Apple's new iPhone 13 debuted in September. The tech giant sold a record-breaking number of more than 40 million units of the iPhone model over the holiday shopping season.

Even though Apple appears to be the most popular smartphone maker right now, Samsung came in close second at 20% of the market share. In addition, Xiaomi sits in third place at 12%, OPPO in fourth at 9%, and Vivo rounding out the top five with 8%. 

Canalys added that these numbers are surprising, given the supply chain shortages companies have continued to face. Apple even cut production of the iPhone 13 by more than 10% in October because of the global chip shortage. 

"Supply chain disruption affected low-end vendors the most," Canalys VP Mobility Nicole Peng said in a statement. "Smartphone brands are already innovating to make the most of their circumstances, tweaking device specs in response to available materials, approaching emerging chipmakers to secure new sources for ICs, focusing product lines on the best-selling models and staggering new product releases.

According to a recent report from Globaldata, the global chip shortage we have seen over the last two years will continue well into 2022. However, analysts have said that they expect the chip shortage to finally be solved once and for all if Western governments were to place a larger investment in domestically-manufactured chips. 

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