Xiaomi announces 34.7 million 2015 smartphone sales and Brazil launch

Chinese mobile tech company Xiaomi has announced its smartphone sales numbers for the first half of 2015 and they’re up an impressive 33% on the same period a year ago.

Xiaomi is so cutting-edge is doesn’t do passé things like issue press releases, instead this news was delivered via Twitter, confirming shipments for 1H 2015 of 34.7 million and urging its fans to retweet the news.

This is the first official piece of 2015 smartphone sales data to be released by Xiaomi, but it’s consistent with Q1 2015 Xiaomi smartphone sales estimates of between 16m and 20m. If we err towards the lower end of that range then we’re probably looking at around 18 million in Q2.

Xiaomi has done a good job getting this data out, just a day or so after the end of Q2, and it’s probably not a coincidence that the company extended its international expansion to Brazil at the start of this week, which is being positioned by Xiaomi’s international head – ex Android exec Hugo Barra – as “stage one of our Latin American launch”, with Mexico and Colombia next on the list.

The reason Xiaomi is able to both get hold of sales numbers so quickly and expand internationally at will its very lean and simple direct sales model. Xiaomi cuts out nearly all overheads and sells handsets virtually at cost to his very aggressive price points. It relies on viral marketing – hence the retweet request, and recovers margin by selling other products and services to its captive smartphone installed base.

The other vendors won’t start releasing their sales data until later this month – Apple’s quarterly call is scheduled for 21 July – but 18 million should ensure Xiaomi remains in the global top 5.

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