In just three years, Xiaomi Inc has achieved something unbelievable. The company is now ranked as the third-largest smartphone vendor after Samsung Electronics Co Ltd (KRX:005930) and Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL).
Market research by the International Data Corporation (IDC) placed Samsung at top of the global smartphone market despite the freefalling shipments year-over-year. During the same period last year, the Korean tech giant’s shipment volumes were 85 percent. The quarterly shipments by Samsung during Q3 2014 accounted for 78.1 percent of the total 327.6 million global smartphone shipments. Samsung was the only tech company in the top five smartphone vendors to have recorded a year-over-year decline.
Even so, Samsung managed a massive lead against its biggest rival Apple. The Cupertino tech giant’s shipment volumes drove a 16.1 percent increase compared to last year and reached a staggering 39.3 percent for the quarter. The growth was expected considering the record sales of iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus and the continued demand for the last year’s iPhone 5S and 5C models.
The biggest change, however, was recorded by Xiaomi. The Chinese smartphone maker was the star of the quarter with a massive 211.3 percent increase in shipment volumes compared to the same quarter last year. Xiaomi managed a 17.3 percent command over the global shipment volumes during the Q3 2014 compared to last year’s 5.6 percent. This is a huge achievement for the maker of mid-range smartphones, which has limited its availability largely to its home market in China and recently opened up to India. This means Xiaomi has a long road of success ahead of it with a global debut, and also making a stressful impact on giants like Samsung and Apple.
Xiaomi is already the leader in the smartphone market in China and has recorded a series of flash sales in India through online e-commerce site Flipkart.
“Despite rumors of a slowing market, smartphone shipments continue to see record-setting volumes,” Ryan Reith, Program Director with IDC’s Worldwide Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker, said in a press statement. “We’ve finally reached a point where most developed markets are experiencing single-digit growth while emerging markets are still growing at more than 30% collectively.”
Concluding the latest quarterly analysis of the smartphone market, IDC found Lenovo and LG tied in fourth place. Both vendors are pushing their efforts beyond high-end markets to emerging markets.