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Xiaomi Beats Out Samsung As China’s Most Popular Smartphone Manufacturer

August 12, 2013 - Written By Jeremiah Nelson

Samsung has a massive global following, but at least in China it’s not the top smartphone manufacturer. According to Chinese benchmarking company AnTuTu, Xiaomi holds the number 1 and number 3 spots for most popular smartphone in China.

The data comes from AnTuTu’s “Observation Report Semi-Annual.” The Xiaomi MI 2S is the number one most popular smartphone, based on active device volumes. The MI 2S is the Chinese manufacturer’s flagship device. The Samsung Galaxy S4 comes in at number two, with the Xiaomi MI 2A grabbing the number three slot.

The original MI 2 smartphone has sold 17.9 million units since it was released in 2012. The MI 2S is the follow-up to the MI 2 and was released in April of this year. As far as performance goes, the MI 2 benchmarked at levels on par with the Galaxy S4. It costs less than the Galaxy S4, however, and this is the likely reason for its success in the Chinese smartphone market. The Galaxy S4 costs about $600 in China, while the MI 2S is priced at $277 (1699 RMB). That’s less than half the cost for roughly the same performance.

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Samsung is still the king in other Asian markets, however. The Galaxy Note II was the most popular phone in both Taiwan and Hong Kong. In Japan, the Sony Xperia Z was the top smartphone.

Xiaomi has not seen much success outside of the Chinese market. The company only produces enough stock for forecasted demand, leaving it with very low supply levels. This model is working for them in China, but doesn’t give them much room to branch out to other countries.

Xiaomi’s CEO and founder, Lei Jun, said this year that the company will only produce as many devices as it expects to sell, and that it will not waste resources overproducing. This approach can sometimes cause delivery delays of up to three or four months, according to Lei Jun. Xiaomi has been ramping up production recently, however. It has raised its sales targets this year to 20 million smartphones. Previous sales targets had been set at 15 million phones. Reports indicate that Xiaomi sold 7.03 million devices in the first six months of this year. Contrast that with 7.19 million phones in all of 2012.

Xiaomi sold 100,000 low-end Hongmi phones in 90 seconds after being announced today, selling out stock of the device. The Hongmi is priced at just $130 (799 RMB). Xiaomi already has reservations for an additional 7.45 million Hongmi units. The Xiaomi MI line of devices run the Chinese-built MIUI build of Android that many of you might be familiar with.