Xiaomi’s phone sales in 2015 were below its lowest expectations

Just keep smiling.
Just keep smiling.
Image: AP Photo/Ng Han Guan
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When Xiaomi told the media last December it would decline to reveal its smartphone sales for 2015, observers assumed the worst—the company probably had missed its target of “80 to 100 million” devices sold.

Today Xiaomi proved its doubters correct. According to a post on Sina Weibo (link in Chinese) from co-founder Lin Bin, the hardware company sold 70 million devices last year.

That marks an annual increase of about 16%—a sharp slowdown in growth compared to the year before, when it saw sales jump 226%.

Xiaomi’s “80 million” target was itself a downgrade from its initial target of 100 million, which the company committed to back in 2014.

Flaunting its fast growth was once a key part of its Xiaomi’s marketing plan. But it’s easy to replicate business model, along with a shrinking domestic market, and slow growth abroad, have capped expansion. Its other businesses, which include e-commerce and “internet services,” have yet to make the same splash that its phones did years ago.