Redmi 2

The recent sales numbers from Huawei which suggested that Apple is in fact facing far tougher competitive pressures in pushing out the iPhone 6 and its ilk than others have implied have been further reinforced by Xiaomi’s latest official full-year figures on sales. Hugo Barra, Xiaomi’s Vice President of International, tweeted that the company had 61.1 million phones sold, an 135 per cent year-on-year increase, and nearly $12 billion in revenue in 2014. That surpasses the Chinese smartphone maker’s own 60 million target and indicates that its growth plans are well on track. They also look very convincing when set against the current Wall Street consensus estimates of 64 million full-year 2014 smartphone sales for Apple.

As other commentators report, Xiaomi is achieving these kind of results partly by chasing market share at the expense of profitability, with very thin margins, so you shouldn’t expect to see its stock rewarded to the same degree as Apple’s any time soon. That said, in the hyper-competitive Chinese smartphone market it probably doesn’t have much of a choice. And there are signs that Xiaomi’s international expansion plans are working out. Barra added that the Xiaomi Redmi Note 4G model sold in India went out of stock in 6 seconds, and although he of course has every reason to emphasize the brand’s global success, the numbers appear to be backing him up. All of which is great for the Android ecosystem, but probably not something you’ll hear within the Apple reality distortion field.


  1. “They also look very convincing when set against the current Wall Street consensus estimates of 64 million full-year 2014 smartphone sales for Apple.”

    Seriously, man, if you want to be remotely taken seriously, you need to look at actual sales data from Apple, actual Wall Street estimates (hint: these are not full 2014 estimates), or look to more reliable data sources like asymco… because you seem like an idiot if you think Apple is only going to sell 64 million iPhones in 2014 (hint again: they blew past that number about 4 months into the year).

  2. Xiaomi’s doing great, it’s true, but their focus right now is in regions with.. let’s call it “lax”… copyright and patent laws. I’d be very surprised to see them enter the Western world without facing stiff legal challenges for their derivate hardware and software. And, even if they do manage to succeed, they seem to be more of a threat to Android’s success than Apple’s. The idea of succeeding in a commodity market by offering the lowest price is a losing strategy (just ask Samsung) and, so far, at least, the only company the continues to make substantial profits in this world is the only company not playing that game, and instead focusing on the complete user experience. Like or not, Apple’s continued success (in terms of profitability, which is the arguably the only real gauge) is due to factors other companies aren’t able to match, especially a non-computer company like Xiaomi. The only company that comes close to having the ability to offer what Apple does is Microsoft, but due to various factors–the primary one being Ballmer’s lack of vision–they entered the market far too late to make any real dent. It’s unfortunate, as I’d love to see what Microsoft could do with a firm foothold.

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