Huawei overtakes Xiaomi as China's biggest smartphone maker

By Money Times

Oct 26, 2015 07:10 AM EDT

Huawei Technologies Co. dislodges Xiaomi Corp. from its position as the biggest smartphone maker in China.

The company sold 27.4 million devices in the quarter ended September 30, according to reports citing data from research firms. That's up 81% from the previous year.

Xiaomi's shipments, on the other hand, fell for the first time to 18.5 million devices from a year ago.

"Huawei's ascent to China's smartphone throne is a remarkable feat, especially in the context of an increasingly cutthroat and maturing Chinese smartphone market," Canalys research analyst Jessie Ding was quoted by CNBC as saying.

This is the first time Huawei has emerged No. 1 in China.

Xiaomi, dubbed as "China's Apple," had dominated the Chinese market over the past few years selling top-spec phones at relatively low prices. But its product portfolio has not been as diverse as Huawei's, providing customers with fewer options in terms of price points. 

With demand in the world's biggest smartphone market weakening, Xiaomi's shipments have slowed. And since the company has relied heavily upon the Chinese market, there are concerns sales will continue to slide along with the slumping local economy.

"Xiaomi, with its worldwide target of 80 million smartphone shipments for 2015, is under tremendous pressure to keep growing as an international player as it is slowing down in its key home market," Ding said.

Reports say Xiaomi has sold 53.2 million smartphones over the first nine months, which means it has to sell 26.8 million more if it were to meet its full-year target.

The Chinese company is now setting its sights on further expanding overseas. Most recently, it launched in Brazil. Xiaomi's president Bin Lin says they may also sell Mi Note and Mi Note Pro phones in the United States.

Huawei meanwhile has been making headway in the global market. In the second quarter, it posted strong sales in Europe, making the Chinese firm the world's third-biggest smartphone maker by market share, CNBC reported.

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