Even though the iPhone was already in China through China Unicom and China Telecom, its deal with China Mobile promised to make Apple a significant player in the Chinese market. While things have certainly panned out, Apple probably won’t be happy to know that Xiaomi passed it to be the 2nd largest smartphone company in China.
The news arrive through a Kantar Worldpanel ComTech report, which contains data from January to May 2014. According to the report, Xiaomi accounts for 21 percent of smartphone sales, compared to Apple’s 16 percent share. Samsung currently holds the top spot at 23 percent, though Xiaomi is quickly gaining ground on the South Korean giant.
Kantar surveyed 15,000 individuals who are part of a continuous research panel that gets surveyed each month to understand their smartphone and tablet usage, as well as whether they purchased new products to replace their old ones. The report revealed that an important factor of Xiaomi’s growth is that 70 percent of individuals who bought a Xiaomi device already owned smartphones, while 20 percent bought a Xiaomi device to replace their older ones.
Interestingly, out of that 70 percent, less than 5 percent switched over from the iPhone. 17 percent came from Samsung, 21 percent came from Huawei, ZTE, Lenovo, Coolpad, and Oppo, while 18 percent came from Nokia.
“The hard work of building brand value and developing a better OS experience seems to (have started) paying off for Xiaomi,” reads the report. “While attracting more customers to join its fan club, many existing fans are likely to stay.”
Most recently, Xiaomi announced the Mi 4, a metal-clad smartphone that brings a strong spec sheet at $320. With products like the Mi 4, Xiaomi will likely nab the number one spot from Samsung in due time.