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Apple just had a phenomenal quarter in the world's top two smartphone markets

Apple just had a phenomenal quarter in the world's top two smartphone markets
China and India haven't been the most fertile territories for Apple in terms of handset sales in recent years, but somehow, the Cupertino-based tech giant managed to gain quite a bit of ground in both these very important markets during a quarter that only saw a new iPhone release at its end.

We're talking, of course, about Q3 2021, which we already knew was an unusually great three-month period for (new and old) iPhones around the world, leading to an overall market share increase of three percentage points from Q3 2020.

As it turns out, a large chunk of that significant growth may have derived from the world's number oneandnumber two smartphone markets, where Apple is still not a top three vendor but it is rising faster than (almost) everyone else.

Is Vivo becoming a global threat?

Remember when Huawei was about to take over the world? Its play for global supremacy naturally started domestically, and in lack of similar Western troubles, we can totally see Vivo follow the exact same trajectory in the near future.

After Huawei's staggering year-on-year decline from 30 to 8 percent Chinese market share, Vivo has moved into first place, edging out sister brand Oppo with a healthy 23 percent slice of the pie, compared to 20 percent for the BBK-owned silver medalist.

Perhaps more impressively, Vivo grabbed India's bronze medal for the July - September 2021 timeframe as well, beating everyone from Realme and Oppo to Apple and OnePlus. The Chinese champion was number one in India's offline channel, as well as the 5G segment, further demonstrating its potential to challenge Samsung and Apple's global supremacy relatively soon.

Samsung, mind you, is as irrelevant as always in China while registering a 19 percent share in India to place second overall in Q3 smartphone shipments, narrowly behind Xiaomi and well ahead of Vivo. Helped by low to mid-end models like the Galaxy M42, M52, A22, and A52s, the company was second in regional 5G sales too.

The iPhone 13 series should further boost Apple's figures in Q4

In related news, water is wet. Jokes aside, it's certainly impressive that the iPhone 11 and 12 lineups remained successful enough between July and September of this year to not only secure Apple's top spot in both the premium and ultra-premium segments of India's smartphone market, but also contribute to a 212 percent (!!!) year-on-year growth in overall sales in the region.

Obviously, that made Apple the nation's highest growing brand (by far), and things were not radically different in China either, where Cupertino's 48 percent year-on-year progress was only surpassed by Realme's surge from 0 to 4 percent market share.

Apple was also the number one premium 5G smartphone brand in India for the first time, while OnePlus performed remarkably well in the market's overall premium division thanks to the very affordable Nord 2 5G and Nord CE 5G.

Despite India's primary focus on low-cost devices, Samsung's 5G-enabled Galaxy Z Fold 3 and Z Flip 3 also got off to a strong start at the local box-office, looking at providing stiff competition for the iPhone 13 family ahead.

Both Honor and Xiaomi deserve honorable mentions (no pun intended) for their latest Chinese sales results, ranking third and fourth overall respectively while posting healthy quarter-on-quarter and year-on-year growth... respectively.

Of course, the component shortages that led to a 6 percent drop in worldwide sales also impacted both China and India, which ended the year's third quarter with 9 and 2 percent deficits respectively compared to the smartphone shipment totals of Q3 2020.

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