Taipei, Monday, December 5, 2016 20:40 (GMT+8)
mostly cloudy
Taipei
21°C
Digitimes Research: Xiaomi to see strong competition at home, unlikely to achieve 2014 shipment target
Anthony Chen, DIGITIMES Research, Taipei [Tuesday 21 January 2014]

China-based Xiaomi has announced that the company plans to ship 40 million smartphones in 2014. But Digitimes Research believes the vendor is unlikely to achieve the goal as many of its competitors have started establishing online shopping operations to sell their own-brand products with impressive hardware specifications at low prices - a business model similar to Xiaomi's.

Xiaomi is a brand vendor that has been promoting its smartphones by highlighting their high-end features yet entry-level pricing, and the company is mainly selling smartphones through its online store. The company is known for its hunger marketing, limiting supply at product launch to create an impression of strong demand for the device.

In August 2013, the China-based vendor released its CNY799 Hongmi smartphone, extending its product protfolio to lower-tier market segments. The competitive pricing resulted in impressive sales.

Xiaomi's marketing strategy managed to shoot up its shipments beyond the 18 million mark in 2013 and earn the brand a lot of attention.

By selling products through their online shops, smartphone vendors can avoid sharing their profits with retailers and telecom carriers, and therefore can offer lower prices for their devices.

As a result, many China-based smartphone players are adopting the Xiaomi model and have established sub-brand products and online operations to enhance their competition. These include major players such as: Huawei's Honor; Gionee's Iuni; and CoolPad's Great God. These players are either offering competitive pricing or trying to create new brand images, in hopes to expand their share in China's competitive smartphone market.

Huawei is a major player with abundant R&D and marketing resources, as well as strong support from its supply chain. Huawei released its Honor 3C smartphone in December 2013 priced at CNY798. Its pricing and features were similar to those of Hongmi. In response to Huawei's challenge, Xiaomi reduced its Hongmi price by CNY100 in January 2014. The price reduction is expected to significantly impact Xiaomi's profitability, and the challenges from Huawei, and other players, are likely to hinder Xiaomi's plan of having entry-level products drive up overall shipment volumes.

With more China-based smartphone vendors expected to create sub-brand products and run online stores in 2014, Xiaomi will face fiercer competition from its peers in 2014. Although China's online shopping continues to see surging sales, it only accounts for less than 20% of the country's total retail sales and Xiaomi's share of online smartphone sales is expected to be heavily dented by the competitors in 2014.

Xiaomi is still weak in terms of sales in the conventional market and through telecom channels, and it will lose its pricing advantages if it has to share its profits with retailers. Digitimes Research believes the China-based vendor will not be able to gain much profit through conventional channels.

With China's smartphone market gradually approaching saturation, shipments to overseas markets will become a key driver for growth in 2014. However, Xiaomi has only just started to explore the overseas markets, which are unlikely to make much contribution to the company in the near future.

Topics: Page 2

Taiwan server shipment forecast and industry analysis, 2017

TAIWAN MOBILE DEVICE | Nov 28, 10:20

According to surveys and analyses conducted by Digitimes Research, revenues generated from sales of server motherboards, servers, storage systems and related network system equipment by Taiwan-based vendors will continue on an upward trend to reach NT$558.5 billion...

Taiwan server shipment forecast and industry analysis, 2016

RESEARCH EXTRAS | Apr 1, 15:47

Strong demand from the cloud computing market helped Taiwan's server shipments grow 12.5% on year to break 10 million units in 2015, accounting for 90.7% of worldwide shipments and the percentage is expected to grow to 91.1% in 2016. This Digitimes Research Special...

China smartphone AP shipment 4Q forecast

CHINA SMARTPHONE AP | Dec 2, 14:32

Digitimes Research estimates shipments of AP for smartphones and tablet PC in China in the fourth quarter of 2016 will show a growth of 11.6% on quarter.

Taiwan handsets - 3Q 2016

TAIWAN MOBILE DEVICE | Nov 30, 14:14

Taiwan handset makers had a disappointing third quarter in 2016 as a result of decreased ODM orders and low-than-expected performances of Taiwan's brand vendors.

Taiwan LCD TVs – 3Q 2016

TAIWAN DISPLAY SYSTEM | Nov 28, 14:17

Taiwan LCD TV makers saw some impacts from panel shortages in the third quarter of 2016, but their shipments still managed to achieve significant growth thanks to demand from the North America market.

China smartphone touch-panel industry 2016 forecast
Trends and forecasts for the China FPD industry, 2014-2017
The transition to 4k TV - UHD TV market forecast, 2014-2017
  • Wireless broadband developments in Southeast Asia markets

    As of 2013, the 10 ASEAN nations had a total of over 700 million mobile subscriptions, with the CAGR from 2003-2013 reaching 24%. This Digitimes Research Special Report analyzes the various mobile broadband markets in ASEAN and looks at the respective trends in 4G LTE development for those markets.

  • 2015 global tablet demand forecast

    This Digitimes Research Special Report provides a 2015 forecast for the global tablet market and analyzes the strategies of key market players such as Google, Apple, Intel, and Microsoft.

  • 2015 China smartphone panel trend forecast

    This Digitimes Research Special Report analyzes the strategies of key China-based major panel makers BOE, Tianma and IVO for attacking the different market segments through technology and pricing, and their relationship to local vendors Huawei, Lenovo, ZTE, Xiaomi and Coolpad.