Xiaomi now ranks third in the world for the production, and shipments of smartphones. Even more impressive is the fact that Xiaomi has only been selling smartphones for 3 years now. This shows the rising presence and the vital importance of the Chinese marketplace. Xiaomi doesn’t sell any devices in the United States or most other major markets in Europe, or the Middle East, for example.
Yet in the third quarter they more than tripled their output, and gained vital points in market share against competitors like Samsung and Apple – who have the largest global market shares. Xaiomi outsold Motorola, LG, Sony, and HTC. In the third quarter of this year, Xaiomi – which means “little rice,” represented 6% of the 320 million smartphones sold globally.
Samsung is a global leader, though doesn’t lead the way in the United States – at 25%, and Apple still remains in second place at 12%. However, Xaiomi’s gain is really through the competitor’s loss, in addition to their gain. Both Samsung and Apple saw significant drop-offs in their market share figure. Samsung fell from nearly 35% to their current 25% figure, and Apple’s share dropped from just over 13% to their current 12% figure.
Xiaomi was founded in 2010, and is based in Beijing, but grew quickly throughout Asia for their low-cost handsets. It hasn’t been a secret that in recent years a key to success has been the ability to sell the devices for a lower price as customers are constantly looking for the best value out there. However, more interesting is the company’s growth when it comes to the cult-like following it has. Many argue that the company has similarities with Apple, and a few have even asserted that the company is copying Apple – but the company vehemently denies those assertions.
This though points to the larger trend which is that Chinese smartphone makers as a whole, and tech companies more broadly are doing significantly better than others and are beginning to explode in other markets. For example, Lenovo is a company that at one time was exclusively known for their laptops. Now, the company is expanding their focus, and working on pushing their smartphone sales – which have also exploded this year in parts of Asia.
This has all had the largest effect on Samsung who lost the number one spot, as it pertains to market share in China, and lost their prowess this last quarter with some of the worst results the company has seen in years.