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Samsung vs Xiaomi

Samsung's meteoric growth, quality approach and R&D investment has already killed off threats from the previously dominant Japanese. Even a giant like Sony now relies on insurance to bolster its slim profit margins. While Panasonic is in dire straights and continues to make hefty annual losses.

These days it's countries like China that provide the biggest threat. In fact one of Samsung's strongest competitors is China-based Xiaomi (pronounced she-yow-mee).

One of the fastest growing technology companies in the world, Xiaomi has a recent venture capitalist valuation of $10 billion. It's already the sixth largest handset maker, behind Samsung and Lenovo, in 2013 Xiaomi shipped 18.7 million smartphones. And the smartphone targets for 2014 and 2015 are 40 million and 60 million respectively.

These smartphones aren't simply clones of Samsung or Apple products but offer unique features.

For instance, the latest flagship Xiaomi Mi 4 device is light and thin with a brilliant 5 inch display (17% more pixels than the iPhone 5S) and a high-performance Qualcomm processor.

In addition it has a wristband that acts as an ID authenticator for phone unlocking.

And Xiaomi's regular software updates often incorporate popular requests from device owners.

Yet Xiaomi is expanding well beyond smartphones. Today it manufactures millions of tablets, large HDTVs, set-top boxes, routers and much more.

With lower labour costs and easy access to raw materials Xiaomi products are increasing seen alongside Samsung alternatives on high streets around the world.

Read more Samsung analysis posts.

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