Xiaomi tops China’s smartphone market

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Tech research firm Canalys revealed that Chinese smartphone maker Xiaomi reclaimed its crown as the leading smartphone vendor in China in the second quarter this year, while Apple dropped to third place.

Xiaomi grabbed 15.9 per cent of China’s smartphone market. The firm was followed closely by Huawei, which took 15.7 per cent of the Chinese market.

China is the biggest smartphone market in the world. Competition in the country is fiercer than ever, with Samsung, Apple, and several smaller vendors all fighting for a bigger slice of the market.

Although it was once China’s top smartphone vendor, Samsung has seen its market share plunge recently. The company ranked fourth in the second quarter, even as the Korean phone maker launched its latest flagship phone, the Galaxy S6.

Apple, on the other hand, fell to third place despite reporting robust growth in China during its recent earnings report.

The drop in sales comes as Chinese consumers are purchasing more phones made by homegrown manufacturers such as Xiaomi, Lenovo, and Huawei, whose phones are cheaper than a Galaxy or an iPhone but have similar specs.

Xiaomi has grown rapidly by selling feature-packed phones at lower prices than the competition. The company markets itself through social channels to build a strong fan base of young Chinese consumers, and they keep prices down by selling phones online.

However, given China’s slowing smartphone market, even Xiaomi could struggle to hit its sales target of 80 million phones this year.

“Competition among major brands has never been so intense,” said Wang Jingwen, an analyst at Canalys. “Xiaomi is under immense pressure to maintain its top position in the quarters to come.”

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