back to article Watch out, Samsung and Apple: Xiaomi's No 3 in smartphones now

Chinese Android mobile firm and fierce Apple rival Xiaomi has nabbed the third place finish in the world’s largest smartphone vendors just three years after first setting up shop. Beancounters at Strategy Analytics said that the Chinese firm accounted for six per cent of the 320 million smartphones shipped in the quarter from …

  1. SuccessCase

    Xiaomi do copy Apple, but they do it so much better than Samsung. Xiaomi actually have taste, which is why, in my view, in the longer term they are a bigger threat to Apple than Samsung has ever been.

    However for now they are a bigger threat to Samsung, because they are grabbing that middle market. Indeed it is primarily because of Xiaomi that Samsung are losing ground, with margins being squeezed. Samsung are now in a vice between Xiaomi and Apple.

  2. Ossi

    I have a Samsung phone, but I can't find any particular reason why I'd chose a Samsung over anything else next time round. That's Samsung's problem in a nutshell.

  3. El_Fev

    As long as Apple is making the profits.

    They could give a f*ck how much share everyone else has. Samsung is in a race to the bottom , apple isn't!

    1. GrumpyWorld

      Re: As long as Apple is making the profits.

      That's why Samsung sell 2 to 3 phones for every one Apple sells....

    2. Tapeador

      Re: As long as Apple is making the profits.

      I find your celebrating Apple's profits and disparaging Samsung's strategy (on incorrect grounds - they're not in a race to the bottom, at least they're less so than all their competitors) quite odd because it seems to impute some sort of positive and negative moral quality to Apple's and Samsung's actions respectively.

      Apple don't price-compete, because they're selling a luxury good the object of owning which is largely to demonstrate your wealth. So they're not in a "race to the bottom" in the way virtually all other market participants have to be. Unless you're Paul McCartney or, oh, Matt Damon, you and I have to undercut others in order to sell our labour. In this way all sellers of non-luxury goods and services are in a kind of race to the bottom. I wonder if Mactards kind of love Apple because somehow it seems as though for a moment every day when they switch on their Mac and look at its expensive lines, they can forget the true economic condition of our shared existence.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        @Tapeador

        I guess if you don't understand why people choose Apple over Android you have to fall back on tired stereotypes like "the object of owning is largely to demonstrate your wealth".

        I don't think there's any positive or negative moral qualities to pursuing profit versus market share, they are two different approaches to business. Apple definitely does try to maintain a high end image, though calling them a "luxury good" stretches the definition, at least in first world countries.

        Regardless, because Apple has a different approach to what market it is targeting with its devices, and is the only seller of iPhones, versus one of many many sellers of Android phones, means they are much less vulnerable to Xiaomi than Samsung is. A Xiaomi phone is essentially an exact substitute for a Samsung phone, unless you value TouchWiz or the "S-xxx" features Samsung added (in an attempt/hope to make Samsung owners want to stick with Samsung in the future) It is only a substitute for an iPhone in a more broad sense (both are smartphones, able to run apps, etc.)

        There are already some pretty inexpensive Android phones that compare to the high end Androids like GS5 and HTC One. Xiaomi is only lowering the price for that, but people who aren't switching to Android to get a $300 phone probably won't be swayed when Xiaomi ventures out of China and sells them for $200. Considering how much time you use your smartphone each day, that difference amounts to less than a penny per minute of use. If it was something you only used an hour a month it would be much harder to justify to oneself.

        1. Tapeador

          Re: @Tapeador

          I guess if you don't understand why people choose Apple over Android you have to fall back on tired stereotypes like "the object of owning is largely to demonstrate your wealth".

          Ahem. I spent £2k on a 2000 Titanium Powerbook. I understand. I'm sorry but an Apple phone just isn't worth the 5x extra you pay over an Android with similar capabilities.

          "I don't think there's any positive or negative moral qualities to pursuing profit versus market share, they are two different approaches to business. "

          Right, however I don't think that was the effect of the OP's language.

          "calling them a "luxury good" stretches the definition, at least in first world countries."

          You're right. It's not a luxury good, it's a veblen good.

          The rest of what you say seems perfectly sound.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: @Tapeador

            'm sorry but an Apple phone just isn't worth the 5x extra you pay over an Android with similar capabilities.

            You left out "to me". People like you have this strange idea that whatever conclusion you reach is the correct one, and anyone who disagrees is wrong. In your opinion, Apple is no better than Android and simply costs more, so there must be some reason that says "I'm better/smarter than those who make the wrong decision and buy Apple" in your world.

    3. gazlm

      Re: As long as Apple is making the profits.

      *couldn't*

      1. SuccessCase

        Re: As long as Apple is making the profits.

        @gazim It seems to me sometime about 1995 the human genetic code flipped a bit and, for large swathes of population, the ability to abstract, negate, and evaluate logical truth conditions went for a Burton. I hope this incapacity hasn't carried over into the upcoming wave of electrical/electronics engineers and/or chip designers, or else we're fucked.

    4. goldcd

      They shouldn't be

      They have a decent OS freely available to them (which they insist on touching and breaking).

      They have divisions churning our the memory, screens and CPUs that all these phones need.

      They have no shortage of cash, to do whatever they want with.

      Their problem, is that they make pretty fugly high-end phones (no, I've really no idea why), which then force them to create even worse low-end phones so as not to cannibalize their own high-end.

      If you look at Xiaomi, Oppo, Lenovo etc etc. It seems you can make a pretty high-spec phone for a lot less than some people are trying to sell them for.

      If you want to rule the top end, you have to differentiate. Sony's camera, LG's screen-res, HTC's physical design. Samsung... back to my previous point. I genuinely have no idea why anybody would buy a phone from them.

      They either need to pull their finger our and design something paradigm shifting at the high end (I'd like another choice) or cut their losses, bail out, compete with the middle-tiers and leverage their vertical.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: They shouldn't be

        Or continue chucking billions at marketing...

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  6. DubiousMind

    Lenovo is the one to watch

    Having just finalised their purchase of Motorola today, Lenovo is reportedly the 3rd largest manufacturer of mobiles: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-25956284

  7. Captain Queeg

    Cant see it myself...

    ... if anything they look like lumias to me.

  8. PaulM 1

    I will only buy a stock Android phone

    Xiaomi make the same mistake as does Huawei and all of the other Chinese mobile phone companies who have managed to enter the Western phone market. They customize the Android user interface to "differentiate themselves from other suppliers". The problem with this is that this means that they do not keep the copy of Android in their mobile phones up to date. I am on the market for an Indian manufactured Android one phone that is kept up to date by Google themselves.

  9. Dave 126 Silver badge

    @over the hill

    >"and according to today's news Xiaomi have been caught sending IMEI numbers, phone numbers and text messages back to Beijing."

    That was August's news, and today is in October. You raise a valid point, and if truth is on your side they why mislead us? http://www.v3.co.uk/v3-uk/news/2359714/chinese-android-smartphone-firm-xiaomi-caught-collecting-users-data

    The issue - MIUI's cloud messenging service sending said data upon the start-up of the phone with an option for the user to opt-out - has been fixed. I'm not excusing them, but it is fair to put the claim in context. If you are referring to another, newer issue, please do supply a link.

    [ I attempted to reply in-line, but was treated to this:

    Gone

    The requested resource

    /post/reply/2343987

    is no longer available on this server and there is no forwarding address. Please remove all references to this resource.

    Apache/2.2.22 (Debian) Server at forums.theregister.co.uk Port 80]

  10. David Paul Morgan
    Go

    I agree about the specific customisations...

    I think the manufacturers should be supplying as close to a 'base' version of Android as possible, but then supply separately, downloads for the Camera, Walkman, touchwiz/sense etc that they think will enhance the experience.

    I have to say I had an unbranded chinese dual-sim gingerbread device about 2½ years ago and it was really handy, once I'd customized the launcher. The only 'flaw' was that some accented character text in the music player was displayed as a chinese pictogram!

    Good luck to Xiomi as 'the west' seems to have long ago abandoned this sort of consumer hi-tech manufacture.

  11. Floydian Slip
    Mushroom

    The Chinese ARE coming

    I had an HTC (M7) on contract and the thing just stopped working after 18 months. Mind you, it had been well used, been dropped a couple of times and had a small crack on the screen so I could't exactly claim "un-merchantable quality". However, I did contact EE and ask about an early upgrade and was happily told that I could but that it would cost me £240 to buy me out of my contract, £20 for a new phone and a couple of extra quid a month so, a fresh 2 contract would have cost me more than £300.00.

    So, I bought myself a Chinese phone on Ebay for £120.00 and I'll use it for a year and then upgrade through my contact to a "premium" phone for nowt.

    It's got a 5" screen 1280 x 720 which is perfectly fine, ARM Cortex A7 1.7Ghz MT6592 and 2Gb Ram + 16Gb and an SD card slot, Dual Sim, 13 & 5 Mp camera (with flash). It doesn't have NFC (never did use it anyway), has OK sound, ships with awful headphones and there's no 4G - won't miss that, my M7 was 3G and it's a couple of grams heavier.

    It's called a Blackview Crown and it does me just fine

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