Chinese startup Xiaomi was the No. 1 smartphone maker in China in the second quarter of the year, according to research firm Canalys.
Here’s the breakdown:
Xiaomi is the fastest-growing smartphone maker in the world. It makes Android phones with high-end specs that rival what you’d find in other top-tier phones like Samsung’s Galaxy S5 or the iPhone 5S. But Xiaomi sells its smartphones for about half the price.
Xiaomi’s newest flagship will cost about $US320 U.S. It has a 5-inch screen, powerful processor, and really nice design. The Samsung Galaxy S5 costs at least $US600. The iPhone 5S starts at $US649.
Xiaomi surpassed Apple in China last quarter, according to Canalys, but was still behind Lenovo and Samsung in terms of unit sales. Last quarter, Xiaomi was able to leap ahead both Lenovo and Samsung.
Even though Xiaomi likely isn’t making much of a profit on its smartphones, it’s still eating into the profits of Samsung. Samsung reported declining profits in its mobile business last quarter and blamed competition from other companies like Xiaomi that sell Android phones for much less.
However, Apple’s iPhone business is growing nicely in China and its profits are still growing.
Despite its success, Xiaomi has its critics. Apple fans are quick to point out that Xiaomi devices look a lot like Apple’s iPhones and iPads.
Here’s a look at Xiaomi’s newest phone, the Mi4:
And Xiaomi borrows heavily from Apple’s marketing strategy. For example, Xiaomi’s CEO Lei Jun wears blue jeans, white sneakers, and a black shirt, just like Steve Jobs did. Jun also showed a “One more thing …” slide during Xiaomi’s last product launch, a tactic Apple made famous when it was about to introduce a surprise product.
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