Apple retakes top spot in global smartphone market, analyst firm says

Samsung was close behind, according to Canalys.

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Attila Tomaschek
2 min read
iPhone 13 Pro, Sierra blue

Apple regained the top spot in the global smartphone market in the fourth quarter of 2021, edging out Samsung.

Stephen Shankland/CNET

Apple is once again at the top of the global smartphone market, accounting for 22% of worldwide smartphone shipments in the fourth quarter of 2021, analyst firm Canalys said Tuesday. 

High demand for the iPhone 13 and competitive pricing in mainland China helped the tech giant retake the lead and edge out Samsung, which had a market share of 20% during the same period.

Xiaomi remained in third place with a 12% market share, according to Canalys. Oppo and Vivo rounded out the top five in the market 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," Canalys analyst Sanyam Chaurasia said in a release. "Apple saw unprecedented iPhone performance in Mainland China, with aggressive pricing for its flagship devices keeping the value proposition strong." 

This comes as supply chain challenges and a surge in COVID-19 cases have impacted overall shipments. 

Apple introduced the iPhone 13 in mid-September, with the phones hitting stores 10 days later. Though the overall look and feel of the iPhone 13 lineup isn't much different than that of the iPhone 12, the latest line of iPhones features a few notable upgrades under the hood. The iPhone 13's camera features include new macro photography and cinematic video modes. Other upgrades include increased storage, improved battery life and a new A15 Bionic processor

Apple also introduced an array of new colors with its iPhone 13 lineup, including midnight, pink, graphite and gold. Prices for the iPhone 13 range from $699 for the base iPhone 13 Mini to $1,599 for the iPhone 13 Pro Max with 1TB of storage.