Xiaomi shifts 34.7 million units in first half

In a market that is said to be shrinking, Xiaomi has increased its smartphone shipments by 33 percent year on year.

Chinese smartphone maker Xiaomi has announced that it sold 34.7 million units during the first half of the year, representing a 33 percent increase on this time last year.

The result comes as the contested Chinese smartphone market matures and begins to hit saturation. In May, IDC said that the Chinese smartphone market had contracted by 4 percent during the first quarter, with 98.8 million units sold in the country in total.

Of that number, IDC said Xiaomi had moved 13.5 million units for the first quarter, representing 13.7 percent of Chinese market share, and trailing new market leader Apple by 1 million units.

Xiaomi's 33 percent overall growth figure for the first half puts it behind the 42 percent growth that IDC said the company experienced in the first quarter within China.

Yesterday, Xiaomi announced that it would be entering the Brazilian market with its $160 Redmi2 handset. Unlike China, Brazil is expected to experience double-digit growth in smartphone sales this year.

In April, the company introduced the approximately $200 Mi 4i in India, a country where the company is currently being sued by Swedish telecoms supplier Ericsson for the alleged violation of Ericsson patents.

Xiaomi expands presence in South Korea

Xiaomi has also experienced a meteoritic rise in the South Korean market in battery packs and smartphone accessories for the past year.

According to Ticket Monster, one of the country's largest social e-commerce firms, Xiaomi accounted for 25 percent of revenue in its smartphone and accessories category in the first half of 2015, a jump from 1 percent last year.

Xiaomi accounted for 89 percent of the battery packs sold in the same period. Success in the category is spreading to other products. Available goods from the Chinese firm now include air cleansers, earphones, and wearable bands.

Ticket Monster said the popularity likely stems from the relatively low cost of the products and word-of-mouth recommendations.

However, Xiaomi is yet to launch a handset in South Korea, as the country has a small consumer base and is notoriously difficult for foreign firms to penetrate.

The total revenue by all Chinese firms in the same period rose 2.7 times. In recorders and visual devices, revenue rose 135 percent.

"Chinese products are cost competitive and of high quality, and, starting with Xiaomi, their popularity seems poised to expand in South Korea," said Ticket Monster in a statement.

Xiaomi was unavailable for comment.

ZDNet Korea contributed to this report