Chinese tech firm Xiaomi, known mainly for making smartphones – but with product lines in IoT devices, Internet services and TVs, too – saw some vaulting domestic Q4 gains at the expense of Huawei.
With its arch-rival in forced retreat from the smartphone market, because of US-led sanctions on its supply chain, Xiaomi was able to post healthy year-on-year bounces for both revenue and adjusted net profit.
Turnover during the quarter amounted to RMB 70.5 billion ($10.8 billion), up nearly 25% when compared with Q4 2019. Adjusted net profit, at RMB 3.2 billion ($490 million), was a 36.7% jump over the same period.
Xiaomi's smartphone revenue was RMB 42.6 billion ($6.5 billion) during Q4, up a hearty 38.4% year-on-year.
Tailwinds came primarily from mainland China, where Xiaomi was able to gain market share in what is a booming market.
Citing figures from market research firm Canalys, the company's Q4 smartphone shipments grew by a record 51.9% year-on-year in China, which was the highest rate of growth among its main rivals (Apple, Samsung and, of course, Huawei).
The upshot was that Xiaomi expanded its domestic share from 9.2% in Q4 2019 to 14.6%.
Global smartphone shipments, with strong growth in China being complemented by meaningful inroads in western Europe and Latin America, reached 42.3 million units during Q4 2020. That's a near-30% jump when compared with Q4 2019.
Again, using Canalys as its go-to market-research firm, Xiaomi said it "continued to rank third" globally in terms of smartphone shipments – behind Apple and Samsung – with a market share of 12.1% during Q4.
Chips are down?
What's been a good smartphone run in the last few quarters may not necessarily continue, however, at least at the same high growth rates.
"The chip shortage will become a big challenge this year and the next," said Xiaomi's president Wang Xiang in a call with analysts, as reported by Bloomberg. "We are working with partners to have a better supply situation."
He nonetheless added that he was "optimistic" that Xiaomi was on track for growth this year, despite component shortages.
— Ken Wieland, contributing editor, special to Light Reading