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Rising star Xiaomi overtakes Apple iPhone in China but Samsung still reigns supreme

Despite only launching its first device in just 2011, Chinese smartphone maker Xiaomi Tech has already overtaken Apple in the People's Republic, pushing the US company to the bottom of the pack of in the country.

Meanwhile, Samsung remains on top with a 17.6 per cent market share, having shipped 15.5 million smartphones in the second quarter of 2013, according to new figures released by Canalys.

Rising star Xiaomi took a 5 per cent share, shipping 4.4 million devices in Q2 2013. In the same period, Apple shipped just 4.3 million iPhones, taking a 4.8 per cent market share. Lenovo, which also produces ThinkPad laptops, took second place, shipping 10.8 million devices.

The Chinese firm's formula of producing budget smartphones alongside higher end models offering similar functionality to iPhone and Galaxy devices but at half the price appears to have proved hugely successful. Some of its devices are produced in relatively low numbers so as optimise value for the end-user and often sell out within half-an-hour.

ZTE, which has models available in the UK through Virgin Media, came fourth with a 8.7 per cent share, closely followed by controversial Chinese firm Huawei with an 8.6 per cent share. China Wireless owned Yulong took third place, shipping 10.7 million devices.

Showing the sheer size of the market in China, 88.1 million smartphones were soled across the country in Q2 of 2013 - 20 per cent of all global shipments.

The news comes as it is rumoured that Apple will be releasing a budget iPhone in order to compete at the lower end of the smartphone market and across emerging markets.