It was more than a year ago when we first wrote about Xiaomi, the Chinese upstart that threatened both Apple and Samsung in the massive market that is China. Since then, the company has been on a tear, racking up incredible sales numbers that as of today have managed to beat Samsung into second place in the second three months of 2014, according to recently released research from Canalys.

The latest numbers show that four of the top five smartphone vendors in China are now homegrown, with Xiaomi, Lenovo, Yulong and Huawei only missing out on a Chinese clean sweep by the presence of Samsung in second place. Xiaomi took 14% of the total shipments with nearly 15 million smartphones while the next three manufacturers each bagged 12%, separated only by 500 000 unit sales between them.

The latest sales figures show the rampant growth from Xiaomi who, just a year ago, had only 5% of the market and just three months earlier had only 10.7% compared to Samsung’s 18.3% share. Xiaomi’s strategy has been to side step mobile operators by manufacturing and selling its smartphones through an eCommerce platform at razor thin margins that would make most other manufacturers cringe.

“The aggressive pricing points for top-notch products is an important reason that led to its success,”  Canalys’ Shanghai-based analyst, Jingwen Wang said in a phone interview with the Wall Street Journal. “Both its Mi (flagship) series products and Redmi (budget) series products are price-competitive devices and feature top-notch chipsets, displays and cameras.”

Xiaomi is of course also famous for having poached Google’s former vice president of Android, Hugo Barra, to head up the company’s expansion into the rest of the world which it has already begun entering Singapore, Malaysia, Philippines and India with plans on further expansion into Indonesia, Thailand, Russia, Turkey, Brazil and Mexico in the coming months.

Hopefully we can begin to see that expansion reach African shores shortly afterwards where the combination of low prices, great looks and features will almost certainly make Xioami’s phones a hit.

[Source – Canalys, Via – WSJ]