Xiaomi takes aim at Apple after big increase in sales
Chinese smartphone manufacturer Xiaomi Corp said on Tuesday it sold 7.03 million Xiaomi mobile phones in the first half of this year and realized unaudited revenue of 13.3 billion yuan ($2.16 billion) during the same period.
The company is on track to reach its annual goal of selling 15 million Xiaomi smartphones by the end of the year, according to officials from Xiaomi's public relations department on Tuesday.
As of June, Xiaomi had more than 14 million smartphone users on the Chinese mainland, Hong Kong and Taiwan, the news release said.
Lei Jun, founder and chief executive officer of Xiaomi, attributed the good performance to the company's more influential branding, better industry partner support and an improved logistics and warehouse system.
Founded in 2010, Xiaomi has experienced rapid growth. The company launched its first smartphones in August 2011 and quickly gained market share, beating some traditional mobile phone giants.
"In the Chinese market, with the exception of Apple and Samsung, if the shipment of one smartphone model exceeds 1 million during its life cycle, it can be described as 'quite successful'," said James Yan, an analyst with the research firm IDC China.
Xiaomi has managed to sell every one of its smartphone models above the 1 million level and is easily ahead of companies such as Huawei Technologies Co Ltd and ZTE Corp in terms of single smartphone shipments, Yan added, pointing out the latter firms have been selling mobile phones for about a decade.
Xiaomi is now directly challenging international giants Samsung Electronics Co Ltd and Apple Inc, which both keep single smartphone sales records in China. According to IDC, Apple had sold about 16 million iPhone 4 and 15 million iPhone 4S handsets in China as of March.
Xiaomi's Lei sees Apple as a target to overtake in the future. During a previous interview with China Daily, Lei expressed Xiaomi's ambition to ship more than 100 million smartphones annually worldwide for each model by 2016.
Apple, based in Cupertino in the United States, managed to break the 100 million iPhone devices mark in 2012, less than five years since the first iPhone was sold in 2007.
Lei dreams of achieving a similar, or even faster, pace of development.
"I know it is crazy, but we would like to have a try," Lei said last year.
Overall, Xiaomi's smartphone shipments in China, if they are not counted on the basis of single device shipments, are still small. The company even failed to become a top 10 smartphone supplier in China in the first quarter, according to the Beijing-based research firm Analysys International.
Samsung was the top smartphone company after acquiring a 17.3 percent share in the Chinese market in the first quarter, followed by Lenovo with 13.1 percent and Coolpad with 10.3 percent. The country had sales of 75.3 million smartphones, a year-on-year rise of 141.5 percent, in the first quarter ending on March 31.