Chinese tech giant Xiaomi sold 15 million smartphone in China during the second quarter of 2014, beating the two other technology giants Samsung Electronics and Apple, according to a market research firm Canalys.
While Xiaomim- a phone brand hardly known in western nations - logged more than triple growth in smartphone sales compared to a year ago, Samsung's sales dropped to 13.2 million units from 15.5 million for the same period.
What helped boost smartphone sales in China was the push for 4G technology by China Mobile, the country's biggest mobile carrier, with Xiaomi's affordable RedMi line helping increase its Q2 sales to 240 per cent. The RedMi phone costs only $169.
Canalys said that the South Korean tech giant could still regain its market leadership in China in the third quarter if it could realign its channel inventory to meet the changing demand in the Asian giant for more 4G handsets.
Cupertino-based Apple, in turn, enjoyed a 58 per cent hike in smartphone sales for the same period due to its 4G options, allowing it to be the second brand to make it to the top 10 in terms of sales volume, next to its rival Samsung.
However, another report by Counterpoint Technology Market Research for May placed Apple in fourth place in the China market, while Lenovo was in second spot and Xiaomi third.
Globally, Samsung is still king with a 26 per cent market share, followed by Apple, Huawei and Lenovo, while Xiaomi was only fifth with a 5 per cent share.
However, there are questions over Xiaomi's self-reported sales figure since it was fined $20,000 last week by the Taiwan Fair Trade Commission for bloating its sales figures for its RedMi mobile phones. While the fast-rising Chinese phonemaker apologised on Sina Weibo, China's version of Twitter, Xiaomi pointed out the error was only by an excess of 30 units.