If there’s one brand that smart phone brands are afraid of, it is Xiaomi. This year they have expanded rapidly outside of China and have disrupted the market with its
dirt cheap value for money proposition. According to a market research report by IHS iSuppli, Xiaomi is currently the third largest smart phone brand, overtaking Lenovo and LG. This is quite a giant leap considering they managed to reach #5 position in the middle of this year.
For Q3 this year, Xiaomi is reported to be have sold 19 million units, which gives it a total of 45 million smart phones sold this year. At this pace, they are on track of exceeding its 60 million units goal for 2014.
Its flash sales and competitive pricing has motivated people buy smart phones online. Power banks and smart phones are being snapped up faster than low cost airlines giving zero fare seats. As a response, we’ve seen new online exclusive brands such as OnePlus (alleged to be a spin-off brand of Oppo) and Honor (sub-brand of Huawei) jumping on the same bandwagon. Despite complaints from consumers that flash sales are frustrating, Xiaomi have proven that its strategy works. You can check out our interview with Hugo Barra to understand how Xiaomi’s approach is different from other established players.
Both Samsung and Apple are still dominating the top 2 spots but it is no secret that they are feeling the pinch with the rise of cheap and good smart phones. With the entry of Xiaomi in India, the only challenge left is to increase production. Supply has always a perpetual problem for Xiaomi in every market and that’s a good problem to have considering they don’t spend anything on marketing.
For Malaysia, we are still waiting for them to freshen up its product offering especially its latest Mi 4 smart phone. Recently we’ve spotted a new 4G LTE smart phone and a Mi Wireless Router heading our way.