Apple accounted for 22 percent of worldwide smartphone shipments in Q4 2021, thanks to strong demand for the iPhone 13.
Overall shipments for the quarter grew 1 percent, as phone vendors faced supply chain problems and a resurgence in COVID-19 cases.
Samsung took second place in Q4 2021, down from the top spot in Q3 2021, with a market share of 20 percent.
Xiaomi maintained its third-place position with a 12 percent share. OPPO and vivo completed the top five with 9 percent and 8 percent 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. Apple maintained adequate delivery times in prioritized markets. Apple customers waited to get their hands on the latest iPhones in some markets.
The report said supply chain disruption affected low-end vendors the most.
“Global component manufacturers are looking for additional production, but it will take years for major foundries to significantly increase chip capacity. Smartphone brands are innovating to make the most of their circumstances, tweaking device specs in response to available materials,” said Canalys VP Mobility Nicole Peng.
Phone makers are approaching emerging chipmakers to secure new sources for ICs, focusing product lines on the best-selling models and staggering new product releases. These practices lend an advantage to larger brands, and they are set to stay for the short term, as bottlenecks will not ease until the second half of 2022.