Over the past three months, more than 327 million new smartphones were shipped out from factories around the world, and young Chinese company Xiaomi has been responsible for more than 5 percent of them.
Phones from Xiaomi still haven’t arrived in the U.S., but the company’s booming sales in China have been enough to make it the third largest smartphone vendor in the world.
Its focus on China and adjacent markets like Southeast Asia helped boost Xiaomi into the top 5 by resulting in triple-digit year-over-year growth in Q3 2014. IDC said that the launch of Xiaomi’s flagship phone MI4, which is meant to compete against Samsung’s Galaxy S5 and Apple’s iPhone, in August was key to its success. But while Xiaomi is doing well in China and other Asian countries, it’s still unclear how well it will fare in other markets where it faces greater competition from Samsung and Apple.
In the third quarter, Xiaomi had a 5.3 percent share of the smartphone market, still far behind second place Apple, which had a 12 percent share, according to IDC. But unlike its rivals, Xiaomi posted triple-digit year-over-year growth in smartphone shipments, of 211 percent, making it the fastest growing among the top vendors.
While Samsung remained the world’s leading smartphone makers, IDC said it was the only company in the top five to see shipment volume decline year-over-year, thanks to competition as well as “cooling demand for its high-end devices.” Its main volume drivers for the quarter were mid-range and low-end devices, which means its average sales price also fell. As for the leading smartphone vendor Samsung, the Korean company continued to struggle amidst heated competition from Apple and Chinese rivals including Xiaomi, Lenovo and Huawei Technologies. In the third quarter, Samsung’s market share was 24.7 percent, down from the 35 percent share it had a year ago, according to Strategy Analytics.