Chinese smartphone prodigy Xiaomi has come out with some numbers about its performance in the year 2015. Apparently, the company sold 70 million devices last year — impressive certainly, but hold on — falling short of the 80 million target it had set for itself, which in turn was reduced from an original target of 100 million devices.
While the company managed to boost sales by almost 15 percent as compared to the 61 million devices shipped in 2014, the figures pale in comparison to competition. Huawei, for example saw a 44 percent jump in sales, shipping more than 100 million smartphones and also usurping Xiaomi’s position as China’s ace mobile manufacturer.
Xiaomi had been under fire recently when it forwent its annual tradition of publicly announcing its numbers. Unsurprisingly, the rumour mills went into overdrive with some attributing Xiaomi’s silence to a terribly dismal performance and even raising questions as to its $45 Billion valuation. While Xiaomi has refused to elaborate on the number and even break it down into regions, today’s announcement has at least gained it a respite.
However, while the 70 million figure would have been cause for celebration for most manufacturers, for Xiaomi’s it’s a warning signal that it really needs to up its game — or be overtaken by competition that is increasingly adapting and sometimes even mimicking its own tactics. The company also needs to justify its services business, which is still not performing as well as it was hoped, in terms of revenue.
Also, even as the Wall Street Journal puts Huawei as the top smartphone vendor out of China, Xiaomi begs to differ — At least “in” if not “out” of China. The company may even be correct considering that the figures — Huawei’s 108 million as compared to Xiaomi’s 70 million+ — are global. Taking into account Huawei’s big US push last year, Xiaomi may have sold more units in China.
However, that is neither here nor there. The fact remains that the company has neared its saturation point and switched to the camp of moderate expansion from that of explosive growth. Also, even as giants including Samsung and Apple predict 2016 as a tough year for sales and are already taking precautionary measures, the company [Xiaomi] may just want to reconsider its goals too.