On Tuesday night, Xiaomi founder and CEO Lei Jun shared his story and experience from a decade of building Xiaomi into the trailblazing smartphone maker that it is today. Lei gave his annual speech via livestream at a company event to celebrate the tenth anniversary of launching its first phone. “Our next target is taking the global no. 1 position in three years,” he said. “Xiaomi’s current task is maintaining its no. 2 position in the global market.”
Indeed, Lei and Xiaomi have reason to celebrate. Xiaomi displaced Apple as the world’s second-largest smartphone company based on shipments in Q2 2021, with a record high 17% global market share. Samsung was the leading vendor with a 19% market share, and Apple trailed with 14.1%, according to research firm Canalys.
Xiaomi was able to erode and capture domestic and global business that may have otherwise gone to Huawei, which is under US sanctions. Xiaomi logged unprecedented sales volumes in Latin America, Africa, and Western Europe, where the shipments increased 300%, 150%, and 50%, respectively. In the first six months of 2021, Xiaomi shipped 1.7 million smartphones, 75% higher than last year, according to IDC.
To mark its ten-year anniversary, Lei said every customer who used his company’s first phone, the Xiaomi 1, will receive an RMB 1,999 (USD 300) coupon that can be used at Mi Stores. In 2011, Xiaomi sold its first model to 180,000 customers. That means the company handed out RMB 359 million (USD 55 million) worth of discounts.
The event also served as the launch for the company’s latest flagship model, the MIX 4, priced at RMB 4,999 (USD 770). The company also showcased a quadruped robot called CyberDog, which retails for RMB 9,999 (USD 1,540) and reflects Xiaomi’s ambitions to embed artificial intelligence applications into consumer products.