After years of seeming unstoppable, it looks like Samsung has more than just a legitimate competitor in China, it has been knocked off its perch as the best selling smartphone manufacturer in the country. The competition didn’t come from where you might expect, Apple who recently worked out a deal to provide iPhones to China Mobile’s customers, but rather from Xiaomi, the still relatively new Chinese grown smartphone manufacturer.
I don’t have to tell Gizchina readers about Xiaomi. Its Mi3 was called “almost perfect” in Gizchina.es’ review of the device. But what readers might not be aware of, is how far the company has come since its inception in 2010. The company outsold not only Apple, but also Samsung in the month of December.
The CEO of Xiaomi has said it hopes to ship 40 million units in 2014. While the Mi2 and Mi3 are the most popular models with international importers, Xiaomi’s growth can be attributed to its Red Rice budget phone, which ZDNet says was China’s number one seller in December.
While Xiaomi has set up a few service centers around China, its sales are still primarily made online, so for its phones to take over the top spot in China with little retail presence is all the more impressive.