Flurry uncovers Xiaomi's core customer

Mobile researcher's study also finds smartphone maker leads the Chinese market in the amount of time its users spend in apps.

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The Xiaomi Redmi Note. CNET

Xiaomi's customers in China appear to be young, professional, and addicted to media and entertainment apps.

Mobile researcher Flurry said in a new study that it analyzed a random sample of 23,000 devices in China throughout January to uncover Xiaomi's core user. It found that the China-based electronics company's customer base skews toward 18- to 34-year-old business professionals that tend to heavily use their devices for media and entertainment, as well as productivity. They are less focused on gaming, and social and messaging than the average Chinese smartphone user, Flurry said.

That young, professional group is a coveted user base, Flurry noted, as the fast-growing segment has become a leading driver of China's new consumer-based economy, and could help Xiaomi keep up its rapid growth.

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The Beijing-based smartphone maker has quickly gained market share in China by offering high-end but lower-priced Android-powered smartphones, and has been moving into new regions in Southeast Asia, such as Singapore, the Philippines, and Malaysia. Earlier this month, Xiaomi said it sold 26.1 million smartphones in the first half of the year, up substantially from the 18.7 million it sold for all of 2013.

Flurry also found that Xiaomi now leads in the Chinese market for time users spend in apps. That would signify a shift from Apple's iPhone leading in this metric by a wide margin for the past six years against every device powered by Google's Android operating system. The researcher attributed the lead in part to the Xiaomi core customer's big use of media and entertainment.

"This is the first time we've seen an Android smartphone catch up to the iPhone's most important engagement metric -- and exceed it," Flurry said.

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About the author

Ben Fox Rubin is a staff writer for CNET, covering component suppliers, mobile and general technology. He previously wrote for The Wall Street Journal and Dow Jones Newswires. Ben grew up in Philly, where he developed an affinity for the Eagles and Rocky-style exercise montages.

 

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