Xiaomi, a 4-year-old Chinese company, is now the fifth-largest smartphone vendor in the world, marking a rapid rise into the ranks of top handset makers, according to a new report from research firm Strategy Analytics.
The Beijing-based company, whose phones have become wildly popular in China, shipped 15.1 million units in the second quarter of the year, more than triple its shipments of 4.1 million units just a year ago, the researcher said Thursday. Xiaomi now holds 5.1 percent of the total smartphone market, just below Lenovo's 5.4 percent market share.
"Xiaomi was the star performer in the quarter," said Woody Oh, director at Strategy Analytics.
The company 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. Despite its success, Xiaomi has little name recognition outside of its primary Chinese market. Oh said the company's next step will be to target international markets in Asia and Europe, but noted that the company will have to invest heavily to try familiarizing Western customers with its brand.
Next up for Xiaomi is its new Mi 4 smartphone, unveiled two weeks ago.
Overall, total smartphone shipments for the second quarter rose 27 percent from a year earlier to 295.2 million units, Strategy Analytics reported. Smartphone growth was inconsistent, with sluggish volumes across North America and Europe, but "healthy demand" in Asia and Africa, the researcher said.
Strategy Analytics' figures were generally in line with a report fromJuniper Research, released Thursday as well, which said smartphone shipments reached over 290 million units for the quarter, resulting in 26 percent growth.
The top smartphone maker remained Samsung, with 74.5 million units shipped, down 2 percent a year ago, according to Strategy Analytics. Apple was second with 35.2 million units, up 13 percent. Huawei was third, with 20.1 million units, followed by Lenovo, Xiaomi then LG.
Both Samsung and Apple lost market share in the quarter, as Huawei, Lenovo and Xiaomi all gained on the top two vendors.
In a separate report released Wednesday, Strategy Analytics said Google's Android mobile operating system continued to dominate the smartphone market, taking 85 percent of market share for quarterly shipments, up from 80 percent a year ago. Apple's iOS was a distant second, with 12 percent, followed by Windows Phone at just under 3 percent.