Xiaomi Outranks Apple as No. 3 Smartphone Vendor in China
Low-cost Chinese smartphone maker Xiaomi maintained its lead over Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) as it advanced to the third place spot in China’s smartphone market for the first time in the March quarter, reports market research firm Canalys. Xiaomi secured its third place ranking with a 10 percent share of China’s market, while Apple moved up a spot from last quarter to fourth place with a 9 percent share, according to Canalys data cited by PCWorld. China’s Lenovo took second place, while Korea-based Samsung (SSNLF.PK) remained in first place with an 18 percent share.
Xiaomi’s impressive domestic market gains have been fueled by its highly popular low-cost devices, such as the company’s Hongmi phones, which sell for as little as $113, noted PCWorld. Canalys research director for China Nicole Peng noted that Xiaomi’s Hongmi phones may account for 50 to 70 percent of the company’s total smartphone sales this year, reports PCWorld.
In this sense, Xiaomi’s approach to the smartphone market is practically the polar opposite of Apple’s, which focuses on high-end devices with significant profit margins. Although Xiaomi’s devices feature high technical specifications, the low prices give the company a razor thin profit margin.
“Though Samsung remained the leading vendor in China with an 18 percent share, the Chinese smartphone market continues to be driven by the dynamism and aspirations of local vendors,” stated Canalys research analyst Jingwen Wang via a press release. “Helped by its Redmi range, Xiaomi became a top three vendor in China for the first time during the quarter, when just a year ago it was a niche player.” Redmi is Xiaomi’s line of budget Android-based smartphones and phablets.