For the first time ever, not one but two models from Chinese smartphone brand Xiaomi — the MI 3 and Hongmi — are on the list of the world’s ten best-selling smartphones, according to Hong Kong-based Counterpoint Technology Market Research.
Counterpoint Technology Market Research is a global research firm specializing in technology products in the Technology, Media and Telecommunications industry. It services major technology and financial firms with a mix of monthly reports, customized projects, and detailed analyses of the mobile and technology markets.
Here’s the top 10 smartphone list of February 2014 measured by the company:
The MI 3 model was ranked tenth on the list while the Hongmi (Red Rice) smartphone was at seventh place, kicking Motorola and Huawei out of the top ten.
The researcher said Xiaomi’s success can be attributed to its low price strategy. The MI 3 and Hongmi are priced at US$330 and US$130 respectively, while Apple’s cheapest smartphone, the iPhone 5C, sells for US$720.
“At the global level there has been little brand diversity over recent months. However the appearance of Xiaomi on the best sellers list highlights an increasing trend – local brands moving up the sales rankings in their respective countries. It’s a consequence of commoditization of hardware and software. Provided the price is sufficiently attractive, consumers are willing to try local brands over the higher profile global brands,” Peter Richardson who manages Counterpoint’s Tech Strategies said.
Earlier last month, Xiaomi chairman Lei Jun announced at the IT China Summit held in Shenzhen that his company sold 18.7 million handsets last year and is set to ship at least 40 million this year. Having already sold 11 million models already in the first quarter, Lei also estimated that Xiaomi’s sales could reach 60 million this year and even 100 million in 2015.
Xiaomi has never had a problem selling out of deliberately limited quantities of any of its devices. Its inaugural launch of Redmi, the budget Android device for Xiaomi, also saw equal success in Singapore. When it was opened for orders at 12pm, the phone was snapped up in minutes, with reports from customers saying that they couldn’t place the purchase anymore at 12:10pm.
Other than emerging as one of the ten top smartphones in the World, Xiaomi also emerged as the third most innovative company on Fast Company’s own list of the World’s 50 Most Innovative Companies, just behind Google and Bloomberg, beating several other companies including Apple and Nike.
For those that are still skeptical about getting a Chinese product, you might want to reconsider again, because Xiaomi is slowly becoming a global product.