However, hopes were that it could near-double its sales, hitting the 100m mark – the company itself claimed that it sold more than 60m devices a year ago.
In contrast to the weakening fortunes of Nokia, BlackBerry and HTC, 2013-2014 smartphone sales from China-based Lenovo (which acquired Motorola’s smartphone business from Google in October of 2014), Huawei, Xiaomi, Yulong/Coolpad, and TCL surged.
While, Wall Street Journal mentions that it may also be because of the booming electronics market in the country, where smartphones sales doubled since 2012 to an estimated 1.45 million units per year.
“Even with the China smartphone market slowing down, we did a stellar job of posting a 33 percent growth on last year’s numbers”, he said.
Xiaomi wanted to sell 100 million phones this year. It appears that both Samsung and Apple are losing smartphone marketshare to the up-and-coming Chinese producers like Xiaomi, Yulong/Coolpad, and TCL. Earlier in the year, the company had opened its official United States online store, though it now only sells accessories and not smartphones.
However the group, which only operates in select Asian and South American markets, is facing an increasingly challenging home market in China which many believe is reaching smartphone saturation point. What’s more, Apple proudly publishes its revenue and profit figures, which is something its Chinese rival hasn’t yet done, so we have no way of knowing the true cost of Xiaomi’s success so far.
It is interesting to see how the low-margin smartphone manufacturer has kept its operations confined mainly to developing economies.
Although DST’s investment in Xiaomi originated from Milner’s longstanding relationship with Xiaomi co-founder and chief executive Lei Jun, Chew, a Singaporean national known for his analytical skills, has been a key behind-the-scenes booster for Xiaomi during recent capital-raising deals. According to Mr. Barra, the tech company’s next targets in the region are Mexico and Columbia.