Business / Technology

Xiaomi has to tackle Huawei first before taking on Samsung

By Dai Tian ( Updated: 2015-01-19 09:37

Xiaomi has to tackle Huawei first before taking on Samsung

Cameramen focus on Xiaomi's new tablet at the device's unveiling on May 15, 2014 in Beijing. [Photo provided to China Daily]

Even with its first large-screen model for sale, Xiaomi may find it hard to outrace the world's second-largest smartphone brand Samsung, especially as the company is in a close match with Huawei, said analysts.

Huawei has more patent advantages than Xiaomi in the international market, said Xu Hao, researcher with industry consultancy Analysys International. Both the companies launched their high-end products in the past six months.

Xiaomi Corp introduced its latest model Mi Note on Thursday. The device, equipped with a 5.7-inch screen, sells at a floor price of 2,299 yuan ($370).

The live broadcast of the launch ceremony attracted 5.7 million viewers, becoming the most-viewed program in the category, according to Internet media company Tech Web quoting data from online video platforms Youku and Tudou.

Huawei launched its Mate 7 in September. The phone with 6-inch screen supports fingerprint identification, and is priced at 2,999 yuan. The industry expects the company to release an undated version Mate 8 later this year.

Jockeying for high-end users

"You can see from the Mi Note that Xiaomi is paying more attention to building its brand value," said Xu Hao, adding "other domestic brand such as Huawei and Lenovo are completing their product chain by introducing high-end devices as well."

Xu pointed out that though the latest model will help promote the company's profit margin, phones priced around 1,000 yuan will remain as its bestseller.

"Red Mi line will likely continue to contribute a large chunk of its sales volume in international market," said the Beijing-based researcher.

"It remains to be seen whether Xiaomi could retain its position as the world's third-largest smartphone vendor, as the fourth quarter data of last year is still being finalized," said Yan Zhanmeng, senior analyst at industry consultancy IDC China.

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