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Report: Xiaomi Rises to Top Smartphone Maker in China

Tue, 08/05/2014 - 10:03am
Andrew Berg

China's smartphone market is changing as consumers there now prefer Xiaomi's devices over all others. 

According to new numbers from research firm Canalys, Xiaomi has risen from being a niche player to become the leading smart phone vendor in the world’s largest market, overtaking Samsung in volume terms in second quarter. Canalys reports that Xiaomi grabbed a 14 percent share of the Chinese market, on the back of 240 percent annual growth. 

With Lenovo, Yulong, Huawei, BBK, ZTE, OPPO and K-Touch, the eight Chinese vendors in the top 10 together accounted for a total of 70.7 million units and a 65 percent market share. 

Samsung and Apple, the only international vendors in the top 10, together accounted for shipments of 20.0 million units, representing 18 percent of the overall smart phone market in China.

Shanghai-based Canalys Research Analyst Jingwen Wang, called Xiaomi's growth a "phenomenal achievement." 

"Undoubtedly this was helped by an anticipated, temporarily under-strength Samsung performance during the quarter," Wang said. "But that is only half the story - Xiaomi has also executed on its strategy to grow volume shipments. It has delivered compelling products at aggressive price points, focused chiefly on its locally relevant MIUI software features and services, backed by effectively targeted marketing." 

Overall, the world’s largest smart phone market of mainland China, accounted for 37 percent of global shipments in the second quarter, moving 108.5 million units.

Canalys attributed Samsung’s slide to second place in China for the first time since the fourth quarter of 2011 to a rapidly shifting demand toward 4G handsets, helped by an ongoing push from China Mobile behind its 4G services. Meanwhile, Apple had a relatively strong year-on-year performance, up 58 percent, helped by the iPhone’s position as one of few high-end device options available to consumers looking to use 4G services from China Mobile.

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