Emerging Technology

Xiaomi claims top five spot in Chinese smartphone market

Andrew Sadauskas /

Fast-growing Chinese smartphone maker Xiaomi has beaten out a range of established rivals, including ZTE, HTC and Lenovo, to claim one of the top five spots in the Chinese smartphone market.

The company has often been criticised as being an Apple imitator due to chief executive Lei Jun’s preference for black mock turtleneck tops and jeans, along with the company’s use of an iOS-style interface, called MIUI, over Android.

The TrendForce figures show Samsung claims 21.5% of the Chinese smartphone market, with second-placed Apple claiming 8.8%, Nokia claiming 8.2% and Huawei on 8%.

According to the figures, Xiaomi now claims 7.1% of the market, ahead of HTC (6.8%), Lenovo (6.3%) and ZTE (5.1%).

Interestingly, there is a significant divergence between the TrendForce figures and recent IDC figures, which showed the top five Chinese smartphone vendors by market share are Samsung on 18.3%, Lenovo on 12.6%, Coolpad on 11%, ZTE with 8.8% and Huawei on 8.7%.

The figures also diverge significantly from a recent Kantar Worldpanel report showing Android’s market share is now at 72.4%, compared to 20.8% for Apple, while Windows Phone (used on Nokia’s Lumia smartphones) claims just 2.1% of the Chinese market.

Barring a large black or grey market for iOS devices made by companies other than Apple, there appears to be a significant discrepancy in Apple’s marketshare figures between the TrendForce and Kantar Worldpanel figures.

TrendForce also conducted a survey of smartphone owners in China, with 3,272 respondents, looking at whether consumers of different smartphone brands would consider purchasing Xiaomi phones in the future.

The survey showed 72.7% of Lenovo owners would consider a Xiaomi, compared to 69.5% of ZTE owners, 66.6% of Samsung owners, 63.2% for Nokia, 62.8% for Huawei, 59.2% for HTC and just 49.2% for Apple.

Meanwhile, 28% of Apple iPhone owners said they do not want to own a Xiaomi, compared to 5.1% of ZTE owners and 12.9% of Samsung owners, suggesting Apple has far stronger brand loyalty in China than its competitors.

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Andrew Sadauskas

Andrew Sadauskas is a former journalist at SmartCompany and a former editor of TechCompany.

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