Since the company’s birth five years ago up until today, Xiaomi has risen from a no-name iPhone clone manufacturer to the super power status they currently enjoy. The company, which is founded in a sort of grassroots style movement with heavy community involvement, input and feedback, works on a weekly update schedule for its devices that often includes bug fixes and new features. This coupled with the phenomenal build quality of its devices, solid operating system build on Google’s Android, and of course prices that will make your wallet happy have driven the company to new heights in the smartphone race. Last year we saw them eclipse Samsung and Apple in the Chinese smartphone market and today Xiaomi is announcing that they’ve successfully held on to that number one position in the market with 14% of the sales in Q1 2015 according to market research firm IHS.
The Chinese smartphone market is a huge one to enter in but it’s got a few more tricky obstacles than some of the western markets do. While it has significantly higher numbers of people waiting in the wings to buy the latest device, there aren’t as many people with loads of disposable income as there are in the US and parts of Europe. As such the market has trended to affordable devices that push the boundaries of what was thought to be available at certain price points. This has led to innovation on a number of fronts with Xiaomi leading the pack in many ways over other Chinese OEMs. This is evident in the sales of Chinese devices, where 14.2 million of the 99 million smart devices sold in the first three months of 2015 were made by Xiaomi.
This number bests the next closest competitors, Huawei and Apple, by around 3 million devices, and trumps Samsung’s sales rate by around 4 million. Usurping market leaders like Apple and Samsung hasn’t been an easy task for Xiaomi, but with the road they’re on there’s no doubt this sort of market dominance will continue. While this continues Xiaomi has been looking to expand globally as well, with India in its sights as the next big market to enter into and dominate. We’ll see this with the upcoming Mi 4i, which is an India-exclusive phone for the time being, and certainly with other devices that Xiaomi will announce and launch this year.