Xiaomi has become the leading smartphone vendor in China in the second quarter with a 14% market share, according to this Wall Street Journal blog post, beating the South Korean technology giant Samsung that enjoys a market share of 12%. It’s quite an improvement considering in the first quarter Xiaomi had a 10.7% marketshare compared to Samsung’s 18.3%. Last year its share was just 5%.
I think a big reason is that Xiaomi is going international. It was recently launched in India and within 5 seconds all the Flipkart Mi3 stock was sold. Recently its Mi4 was launched in the USA.
Many believe it’s the pricing that is giving the Xiaomi smartphones an advantage and that might be a factor. But it’s not just the price because there are many low-cost smartphones available in the market. Xiaomi phones look very sleek, they are low-cost and most importantly, they come with features that are normally available with higher-end phones. For instance the Mi3 in India gives you the same features in Rs. 14,000 that you get in a Samsung higher-end phone costing Rs. 40,000 + So for a market, especially the younger audience that cannot afford expensive phones but would still like to change their devices at the first opportunity, Xiaomi is an irresistible choice. They are cheap, they are highly stylish and they give you all the features that you need in a modern phone. I think this is primarily the reason why it is outselling Samsung in the range of Android-managed smartphones.
Samsung had an edge over the iPhone because the iPhone was (still is) needlessly and exorbitantly expensive. Comparatively, you could easily buy a decent Samsung phone for more than half the price. Now Xiaomi is applying the same tactic.