It was not a great 2018 for a lot of smartphone manufacturers as they fell victim of the plateauing nature of the smartphone market that is marked by people holding to their pricey mobile computers. This was particularly the case in the Apple and Samsung camp, where consumers who owned the S8/8 Plus phones did not see enough value proposition for the S9 duo, a move that hurt Samsung. Apple, on the other hand, reportedly sold fewer iPhones than market analysts projected, and even announced it will cease to reveal the number of units sold.
That being said, other companies, particularly Xiaomi have grown their markets substantially. The Chinese OEM, which is known for its Redmi line of devices in India and recently, Kenya has reported a substantial 118% jump in global revenues, which also represents a 52% rise in total revenues. Xiaomi accountants report that the company’s profits hit approximately US$2 billion. These are no small numbers for a company that started developing ROMs for other devices back when rooting and flashing custom images was cool. In fact, when Xiaomi set out to make phones, its earlier releases were below part, but its resilience, innovation, and expansion of its businesses to other services (Xiaomi makes computers, wearables, electric bicycles, name them) has borne fruits.
In the international market, Xiaomi has also managed to diversify smartphone offerings with devices such as the dirty-cheap Pocophone F1 gaining global acclaim for what it offers at around KES 30,000. Xiaomi says it sold more than 0.7 million Poco units after 3 months, which is no small feat, to say the least. The local market is also filled to the brim with a variety of Xiaomi phones, and while the company could do a better job to market them (it has an official local office), people are finally accepting its position in offering some of the best hardware for less. The Redmi Note 7, for instance, costs about KES 24,000 – and you get so much out of that device than what the competition offers.