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Xiaomi falls short of lofty 2015 sales forecast

Xiaomi falls short of lofty 2015 sales forecast
Xiaomi falls short of lofty 2015 sales forecast
CEO Jun Lei shrugs off the missed 80 million smartphone target and still sees tremendous growth ahead.

CEO of Xiaomi Jun Lei responded almost apathetically when queried by press and representatives at the annual World Internet Conference in Wuzhen, China about the ambitious goal of 80 million smartphones by the end of 2015. The Wall Street Journal has quoted Lei as saying "What we care about the most is the rate of costumer satisfaction."

Lei's indirect answer is a telling of the overly optimistic sales goals of the company. Its grandiose outlook has drawn criticism from its home market in China where the manufacturer's product information aren't always 100 percent accurate and have received a fair share customer complaints.

Major market analysts like Canalys, Gartner, IDC, and TrendForce agree that Huawei is the current smartphone leader in China followed by Lenovo and Xiaomi in the top 3. Back in July of 2015, Lei boasted 34.7 million smartphones sold as of H1 2015 and estimated a lofty goal of 80 million by the end of the year.

Analysts were rightly suspicious of the year-end target. Despite Xiaomi's efforts to expand into Africa, Brazil, India, Indonesia, Korea, Philippines, and Taiwan, the manufacturer was still unable to reach 80 million before the end of Q4 2015. For now, the Huawei Honor and Lenovo ZUK brands are posing a threat to Xiaomi.

Nonetheless, Lei remains optimistic about the rapid growth of Xiaomi and may be considering electric scooters, TVs, audio equipment, and wearables for the future. The company will also continue to expand into additional countries.

Xiaomi recently made the Guinness World Record for most smartphones sold in a 24-hour period at 2.11 million units.


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Ronald Tiefenthäler/ Allen Ngo, 2015-12-18 (Update: 2015-12-22)