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China's Xiaomi Becomes Third-Largest Smartphone Maker as Global Market Continues to Grow

The Chinese phone maker leapfrogged LG and Lenovo and now trails only Apple and Samsung in market share.

Reuters / Jason Lee

We all knew China’s Xiaomi was on a tear.

But new statistics from IDC show that the company has emerged as the third-largest smartphone vendor in the world, passing LG and Lenovo and trailing only Apple and Samsung. The company saw its shipments more than triple to 17 million, good for a 5.3 percent market share.

Samsung led with an estimated 23.8 percent of the market, while Apple was second with 12 percent of the market.

LG and Lenovo finished in a virtual tie for fourth place, with each holding just over five percent market share.

Overall, more than 327 million smartphones were sold, up 25 percent from a year ago and more than eight percent from this year’s second quarter.

“Despite rumors of a slowing market, smartphone shipments continue to see record-setting volumes,” IDC’s Ryan Reith said in a statement. “We’ve finally reached a point where most developed markets are experiencing single-digit growth while emerging markets are still growing at more than 30 percent collectively. In these markets, smartphone price points are making mobile computing possible where we once expected feature phones to remain dominant.”

That said, profits in the industry (aside from Apple) remain elusive as globally smartphones become a commodity, Reith noted.


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