Xiaomi has overtaken Samsung as the most popular smartphone maker in China.
The Chinese manufacturer’s Q2 sales figures have exceeded its South Korean rival’s for the very first time, according to data released by market research firm Canalys.
Xiaomi picked up 14 percent of all smartphone sales in the country during the period, while Samsung dropped to 12 percent alongside Lenovo and Yulong.
It’s a massive change since the first quarter, when Xiaomi had 10.7 percent and Samsung ruled the roost with 18.3 percent. This time last year, meanwhile, Xiaomi was responsible for only 5 percent of all smartphone sales in China.
So to what can we attribute this massive upsurge in Xiaomi’s popularity? The company appears have perfected the art of making cheap yet highly capable and attractive handsets, such as the budget Redmi series and its flagship Mi.
Its MIUI custom interface (its phones run on Android) is also highly thought of locally, offering a simplified iOS-like experience.
While Xiaomi has successfully undercut Samsung on price without compromising on quality, it’s also managed to stand out from competing local budget brands through bright marketing and by running its own e-commerce website.
This latter point is vital, allowing the company to sell its products at near cost price in a similar way to Amazon.
The Xiaomi Mi 4 is the company’s recently announced new flagship phone. It’s got the kind of specs and slick design (including metal) that place it in HTC One M8 and Samsung Galaxy S5 territory, yet it sells for around the £200 mark.
At this rate, Samsung may well be worrying about its position in western markets too.
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