Xiaomi became the leading smartphone vendor this quarter in China with a 14% market share. Samsung had 12%. The differences in momentum is stark; in the previous quarter, Xiaomi had only 11% while Samsung held 18%.

Small Chinese companies like Xiaomi and OnePlus were able to create markets even while competitors like Apple and Samsung spend billions in advertising their smartphones. Their success is a blueprint for others to follow, whether running an established smartphone company or starting one, and proof that it's possible to break in the market even with comparatively little resources.

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