Apple returned to the top spot of the global smartphone market in the fourth quarter of last year. The iPhone 13, which was released in the third quarter of 2021, drove the growth of iPhone shipments.

Market research firm Canalys said on Jan. 19 that Apple topped the smartphone market with a 22 percent share in the fourth quarter of 2021. The U.S. smartphone giant enjoyed brisk sales in the fourth quarter on the back of new launch effects.

Canalys said Apple came back to the No. 1 spot in the market for the first time in three quarters thanks to the outstanding sales performance of the iPhone 13, especially in China.

However, Apple failed to expand its market share due to a disruption in iPhone production caused by a shortage of parts. Apple’s fourth-quarter share fell by one percentage point compared with a year ago.

During the same period, Samsung Electronics came in second with a 20 percent market share. Samsung's market share rose by 3 percentage points from a year before. Considering that Samsung’s market share in the fourth quarter stood at only 16 to 18 percent over the past few years, the company fared relatively well, analysts say.

Apple and Samsung Electronics were followed by Chinese smartphone makers Xiaomi, Oppo, and Vivo, which ranked third, fourth, and fifth, respectively. The Chinese smartphone makers are expected to expand their market shares in 2022 by waging price wars in China and emerging markets such as Southeast Asia and India.