Apple, Samsung, and...Xiaomi?
[dropcap]L[/dropcap]ittle rice? Yes, I said little rice. We all know about Apple and Samsung taking the one-two punch of the mobile phone market share, but what you didn't know was there is a third player throwing punches, Xiaomi. Translating to "little rice" in mandarin chinese, Xiaomi has gone from obscurity to relevant in only 3 years time. After taking 6% of the market share to move into 3rd place, their rival Samsung lost about 10% of their market share (from 35% to 25%).
Who is Xiaomi?
After already taking a chunk out of the mobile phone industry, Xiaomi has big plans to expand throughout Asia and onto Europe. Their first battle? Brand awareness. If you're like me, you probably haven't even heard of Xiaomi until recently, but anytime you are mentioned with the likes of Apple and Samsung, you're going to get noticed. So, why should you care about Xiaomi (pronounced
shiao-me)? It's simple really, whether you like it or not, they look to be on track to make an international splash. If they can handle what it takes to be a powerhouse, Xiaomi has the business model to give their customers what they want: quality phones at a lower rate. One of their biggest upsides is their "big ear" for the customer's voice, as the company acknowledges them in the final design, performance, and software.
Samsung's War of the Worlds
Samsung is being gouged at from all angles. Apple is pulling away in the premium market, Lenovo seems to control the bottom tier, and Xiaomi is fighting away at the meddle-class tier. What's left for Samsung? They claim they aren't too worried about the number for this quarter, pointing to the holiday season and their T.V line as contributing factors. The fact is, Apple seems to be taking over the top line with their iPhones and iPads. Samsung's release of the Galaxy the Note 4 and the Galaxy Alpha (which closely resembles the iPhone), should help their efforts. This next holiday quarter will be a important time for Samsung, as this past year is on track to be their worst since 2011.
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