Xiaomi Beats Samsung To Top China’s Smartphone Charts

Xiaomi‘s flagship smartphone, the Mi 2S, is the most popular phone in China, according to Chinese benchmarking company, Antutu.

According to Antutu’s data on “active device volumes”, the Mi 2S was the most popular phone bought by Chinese users in the first half of this year, followed by Samsung’s latest S4 device.

The Mi 2S is the successor to Xiaomi’s popular Mi 2 smartphone, which sold 7.19 million units in 2012. The Mi 2S was just released in April, at about the same time as the S4.

According to Antutu’s benchmarking tests, the MI 2 performed on a par with the S4, above the HTC One. Samsung’s latest Octa S4 was the fastest phone, leaving the MI S2 and S4 tied for second place.

Antutu pointed out that the Xiaomi’s relatively lower price to power performance was likely the reason for its success in China.

Samsung’s S4 costs about $600, while the MI 2S goes for less than half, at $277 (1699 RMB). The Mi 2 sold for $326 (1,999 RMB) last year.

Elsewhere in North Asia, Samsung’s 5.5″ phablet, the Galaxy Note II was the most popular phone in Hong Kong and Taiwan. Japan’s phone of choice was the Sony Xperia Z.

Part of the reason the Xiaomi hasn’t seen the same popularity outside its home country could be that the company has famously been low on supplies because it produces just enough stock for the forecasted demand.

Its CEO and founder, Lei Jun, said earlier this year that the firm only produces as many handsets as it expects to sell, and that it doesn’t intend to waste resources overproducing. This strategy has delayed delivery dates by about three to four months per batch, he said in March.

But Xiaomi has started ramping up production, it said recently. It just raised its sales target for this year to 20 million smartphones, from 15 million previously. According to reports, Xiaomi sold 7.03 million devices across its portfolio in the first six months this year, almost catching up to the 7.19 million phones (mainly the Mi 2) for the whole of 2012.

Update: It appears Xiaomi is chasing the charts from bottom-up, as well. While the Mi 2S is positioned as a premium device, its $130 (799 RMB) quadcore Hongmi phone sold out in 90 seconds today.

The company announced on its Sina Weibo account that the first 100,000 units of the phone, released at 12 noon on Tencent Qzone, sold out in a minute-and-a-half. (Spotted by TechInAsia)

It said that another 7.45 million reservations have been placed for the phone, as well.