7/31/2014 @ 1:33AM |22,167 views
China’s Xiaomi Becomes World’s 5th Largest Smartphone Maker
Global smartphone sales are still growing, but the market’s star performer in the last three months wasn’t Apple or even Samsung. It was China’s Xiaomi.
The young electronics firm run by billionaire Lei Jun captured a remarkable 5% global market share in the last three months, according to new figures from Strategy Analytics, shipping 15.1 million smartphones in the quarter.
It now has a 5.1% share of the market, up from 1.8% this time last year.
This is the first time Xiaomi has risen to 5th place in its share of global shipments, according to Strategy Analytics’ Woody Oh — which is extraordinary considering the company is just four years old.
“Xiaomi’s Android smartphone models are wildly popular in the Chinese market and it shifts millions of them every quarter through its extensive online and operator channels,” Oh said.
The company primarily sells its phones and tablet computers through so-called flash sales on its site, stimulating demand by touting that thousands of devices like its Mi3 smartphone have sold out within seconds of being offered to the public.
CEO Lei is known for emulating Steve Jobs’s presentation style and dress code, even concluding a recent public launch with the famous Apple slide saying, “one more thing.” The company’s Mi4 smartphone also bears a strong resemblance to the iPhone, and it’s website has many similarities to Apple’s. The copycat style has irked some, but it seems to be working.
Xiaomi’s next big step is to expand outside of China, targeting consumers in Asia and Europe. ”It will have to invest big money to familiarize western consumers with its unfamiliar brand name,” says Oh.
Last year Xiaomi poached Hugo Barra, former product head at Google’s Android division, to help lead its international expansion, though Barra has lately been busy defending his new employer against the copycat complaints.
Xiaomi can at least afford to continue focusing its efforts on China, where Apple is getting a more sure footing – Cupertino is betting that its recently inked partnership with leading carrier China Mobile will lead to greater sales. The global smartphone market also saw strong demand in Asia and Africa, and sluggish volumes in North America and Europe thanks to changes in the operator subsidy mix, Strategy Analytics says.
Samsung remains the global smartphone leader with a 25.2% share of the market in Q2 of this year, followed by Apple with 11.9%, China’s Huawei with 6.8% and Lenovo with 5.4%.
Lenovo’s market share didn’t grow much from last year, the researchers said, and it’s smartphone growth has more than halved in the past year. “It’s rapid expansion seen in recent quarters is coming to an end.”
Globally, smartphone shipments grew by 27% year-on-year to reach a record 295 million units in the second quarter, while Android captured a record 85% share of all new smartphones shipped in the last quarter.