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Xiaomi catches up with Apple, aims for Samsung

Xiaomi Tech, a Chinese smartphone maker, outpaced U.S. giant Apple Inc. in China's market share during the first quarter, data showed Wednesday, emerging as another threat to Samsung Electronics Co.

Xiaomi became the No. 3 player in the region with a market share of 11 percent, outdoing Apple for the first time, according to the data by Counterpoint Technology Market Research. The U.S. firm's market share measured at 10 percent.

South Korea's Samsung maintained its top spot at 18 percent, followed by Lenovo Group with 12 percent, the data showed. China's Coolpad and Huawei accounted for 10 percent and 8 percent of the Chinese market, respectively.

ZTE Corp. and Oppo Electronics Corp. took up 6 percent and 3 percent of the Chinese market in the January-March period.

Industry watchers said the rise of Xiaomi is significant for the industry as China is the world's largest market for smartphones, although most of the demand is centered on low-end models.

"During the quarter, Xiaomi also expanded outside of mainland China into markets such as Singapore where it launched its portfolio across all the major three operators," said Neil Shah, a researcher at Counterpoint.

"The second quarter of 2014 will be an important quarter for Xiaomi if it can maintain the momentum in its home market as it shifts focus toward international expansion," Shah added.

Counterpoint earlier estimated that Samsung took 30.5 percent of the global market for smartphones in the first quarter this year, followed by Apple with 15.1 percent and Huawei with 4.7 percent. Lenovo and LG Electronics Inc. held comparable figures of 4.5 percent and 4.2 percent, and Xiaomi posted 3.8 percent, according to the data. (Yonhap)


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