According to a recent report, China-based Xiaomi missed sales target for 2015, keeps detail secret. The goal was 80 million units which was lowered from an initial plan of 100 million units, but the company managed to pull off just about 70 million sold units.
Nevertheless, the company fared better than in 2014, when it sold 61 million. In the meantime the manufacturer had to cope with growing pressure from the media and investors over its weak sales growth.
Still, Xiaomi declined to be more specific on the figures. It said that 2015 sales amounted to ‘over 70 million’ smartphones, but it declined to disclose where those units were sold – in China or abroad. So we currently do not know whether the Chinese market is close to saturation, or whether the phones were a success in other emerging markets such as India, Indonesia, and South America.
In emerging countries, Xiaomi’s phones are tempting but the competition on cheap smartphones is fierce. Analysts concluded that regardless of the exact numbers, Xiaomi was eclipsed by Huawei last year.
Huawei recently unveiled that it has shipped more than 100 million units in the past 12 months. Additionally, the phone maker saw shipments skyrocket 44 percent in just a year.
In 2015, there were reports that Huawei surpassed Xiaomi in sales in Q3, as competition mimicked Xiaomi’s strategy to sale its product online. Plus, Xiaomi’s activity in services lagged behind, depriving the company of an important source of revenue.
Yet, Xiaomi recently announced that it has remained China’s top smartphone producer last year. This could be true despite Huawei’s surge in shipments because the first company reports actual sales made to end-consumers while Huawei reports shipments made to retailers which could still have the phones on stock.
Last year, both companies addressed the international market. Huawei for instance made a big entrance in the U.S., while Xiaomi led his rival at home at least in the first qhalf of last year.
Nevertheless, the ongoing battle against Huawei could only represent a distraction from Xiaomi’s growth plans. Analysts are concerned that sales could soon level off for the Chinese phone maker as the company has reached a level of maturity.
For 2016, Xiaomi’s greatest challenges will be to meet investors’ growth expectations and diversify its portfolio to warrant its incredible valuation of $45 billion. Independent analysts expect sales to slow down in the next years for China’s Apple. The most optimistic estimates expect shipments to reach 84 million in three years’ time.
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