Business / Technology

China's smartphone market changes dramatically

(Xinhua) Updated: 2014-08-06 09:01

"The current momentum behind Xiaomi, off the back of its latest product announcement, the Xiaomi Mi4, shows that the company's success isn't expected to slow down any time soon," the Kantar report said.

Significant numbers of existing smartphone users in China indicated they were looking to switch to Xiaomi -- some 8 percent of Apple customers, 12 percent of Samsung customers and 13 percent of Nokia customers are all actively planning to switch to Xiaomi when they upgrade. The number of those planning to switch to Xiaomi is even higher for China's local brands such as Huawei and ZTE.

China's smartphone market changes dramatically
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China's smartphone market changes dramatically
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In less than three years, Xiaomi had rolled out five hot-selling smartphone models and sold a total of 57.36 million units, Lei said.

Latest figures from another market researcher, Strategic Analytics, showed Xiaomi has become the world's No 5 smartphone maker by market share, claiming 5.1 percent of global smartphone sales in the second quarter, up sharply from just 1.8 percent a year earlier.

According to consultancy Boston Consulting Group, Xiaomi is among the top 10 Chinese companies, with the list composed mainly of similar businesses that are finding success on their own and winning against multinationals.

They are competing with innovation instead of lower cost, said Boston Consulting Group, which ranks the top 50 domestic-focused companies from emerging markets.

"This is a Xiaomi-created miracle," Lei said. "All these (phones) have fully demonstrated our strength and the progressiveness of (Xiaomi's) business model."

Xiaomi has largely followed Apple's model of integrating the Internet, hardware and software - a combination which Lei has nicknamed the "triathalon".

From Day One, Xiaomi had deep Internet roots. Lei, also chairman of China's leading software developer Kingsoft, is himself an Internet pioneer and has extensive reach across the industry.

Xiaomi "has skyrocketed to success by capturing the enthusiasm of young people in China for the Internet", said Boston Consulting Group. It has been gaining ground by shunning costly retail stores and by selling online.

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