Samsung’s Sales Smashed By Xiaomi
Chinese smartphone maker Xiaomi, pronounced “She-ow-me”, has outsold Samsung for the first time in China, according to a new report.
WSJ’s report says Xiaomi’s Q2 2014 smartphone marketshare in China reached 14pc, a jump from 10.7pc marketshare in Q1 2014, which itself was an impressive doubling from Q1 2013 figures of 5pc marketshare.
This beat Samsung into second place, with Q2 2014 marketshare of 12pc, a number it shared with Lenovo and another Chinese smartphone maker you’ve likely never heard of, Yulong – no “love Yulong time” jokes, please.
This compares with Samsung Q1 2014 marketshare figures of 18.3pc and Lenovo’s 11pc, which shows how far Samsung’s Chinese marketshare has fallen in so short a time.
Xiaomi has done what many Android makers do, which is to create smartphones in different sizes and price points, but as Xiaomi is in China, where IP laws don’t seem to carry the same weight as in the west, it has been super bold in copying Apple.
From chamfered edges on iPhone clones through to iPad mini clones in a range of colours identical to the iPhone 5C, to on-stage presentations in jeans and shirt with the words “one more thing.” projected onto the stage, through to a website that is clearly ripped off from Apple’s own, Xiaomi is a carbon copy cloner of the highest order achieving great success in China.
Part of the reason for Xiaomi’s success is quality product at low prices, with prices around the $100-$200 mark as opposed to the $500+ prices of Samsung, Apple and other premium brands.
But Xiaomi’s success hasn’t come without scandals, the most recent of which is the discovery that the MiUI – Xiaomi’s Android user interface, which is similar to Samsung’s TouchWiz or HTC’s Sense – is allegedly sending data back to a Chinese server over Wi-Fi.
Naturally, Xiaomi staunchly denies this is happening, but until proven otherwise, some of Xiaomi’s potential customers have been spooked by the revelations.
Although Xiaomi has been little known in the west by most everyday consumers, it certainly has been making waves.
The company poached former Google VP of Android, Hugo Barra, to become Xiaomi’s “VP of International” last year.
Mr Barra has since been under a barrage of accusations that Xiaomi copies Apple and others slavishly, and only chooses to sell its smartphones in countries with weak IP laws, which is supposedly why it isn’t yet on sale in the US where Apple and others might sue Xiaomi’s pants off.
But such accusations are water off a duplicating duck’s back, with Mr Barra famously complaining last month that Xiaomi was being unfairly accused of copying Apple, stating that designers could come to the same design conclusions and that Apple was an “inspiration”.
Needless to say, Mr Barra’s suggestions that XiaoMi wasn’t copying anyone haven’t been exactly convincing.
However, with Xiaomi safely out of reach of the US court system, and flushed with stellar Q2 sales success, we can only imagine Xiaomi’s owners are excitedly screaming “Show Me The Money!”