(Yicai Global) Aug. 17 -- Once the leading brand in the Chinese smartphone market, Xiaomi Inc. now ranks below Huawei Technologies Co., Oppo Electronics Corp. and Vivo Electronics Corp., latest industry data show. Beijing Xiaomi Technology Co. which made its name through offering value for money and e-commerce channel sales models is now facing growing market pressure.
In five years, Xiaomi has changed from a challenger in the handset industry to a firm being challenged. Xiaomi's smartphone shipments were 10.50 million units in the second quarter, down 38 percent from 17.1 million units a year ago, with a market share of 9.5 percent, according to a latest report from consulting firm IDC.
With respect to the data, Beijing Xiaomi Technology responded that figures from IDC alone could not reflect Xiaomi's true second-quarter shipments. However, Xiaomi itself has not published official shipment data.
Xiaomi's problem lies in its over-reliance on price as a means of competition, neglect of quality and individuality, insufficient paranoia and failure to do as much as it can to promote its model of 'free hardware and fee-charging application services', a market observer said.
By contrast, Huawei shipped the most smartphone handsets with 19.1 million units in the second quarter, up 15.2 percent year-on-year, accounting for a market share of 17.2 percent. Huawei was followed by fastest-growing Oppo, with shipments of 18 million units, up 124.1 percent, and a market share of 16.2 percent. Vivo's shipments reached 14.7 million units, with a 13.2 percent market share.
According to IDC, the top two smartphone makers Huawei and Oppo successfully snapped up market share by relying on Leica cameras and quick charging technology, respectively as their selling point. Oppo and Vivo, meanwhile worked hard at offline channels, hired celebrities as their spokespersons and established a presence in all of China's fourth- and fifth-tier cities through their agent system.