Chinese smartphone giant Xiaomi set a big goal for itself this year: Sell 100 million phones.
Then in March CEO Lei Jun scaled back that goal to 80 million phones sold. Xiaomi announced in July that it had sold 34.7 million smartphones in the first half of 2015.
But now it’s looking like the hype surrounding the company is dying, and the fast-growing, super-valuable company will have trouble meeting its lofty goals.
A report from research firm Trendforce says Xiaomi will sell 70 million phones this year. And according to TechInAsia, Canalys, a research firm, says Xiaomi’s Q3 sales in 2015 dropped year on year for the first time.
By comparison, Xiaomi sold and shipped 60 million phones last year, beating its projection of 40 million. Xiaomi sells low-cost, high-quality phones, which sell for between $US100 and $US300. Meanwhile, iPhones sell for between $US650 and $US1,000. According to data published in August, Xiaomi was China’s top smartphone company in China in Q2 2015.
Besides the withering hype, there are a number of factors contributing to Xiaomi’s slowdown; China’s smartphone market is saturated with competing brands like Huawei and OnePlus.
Additionally, Xiaomi hasn’t completely expanded globally yet — its markets include China, India, Brazil, and some emerging markets, with plans to launch in the US in “a few years.”
Known as the “Apple of China” for its immense popularity in the country, Xiaomi has been criticised for its similarities to the American tech giant. Apple design chief Jony Ive once called Xiaomi’s designs “theft.” Xiaomi denies the claim.
In the past five years, Xiaomi has come out of nowhere to become not only one of China’s biggest smartphone manufacturers but also one of the most valuable startups in the world with a $US46 billion valuation.
Xiaomi is known for selling its cheap but high-quality Android devices in developing countries. It also makes a number of other products, including fitness trackers.