SHANGHAI: Privately-owned Xiaomi overtook Samsung in Q2 2014 to become the top smartphone vendor in China, according to the latest industry data from research firm Canalys.

It sold 15m smartphones during the second quarter, giving it a 14% share of the world's largest smartphone market, and meant it achieved growth of an impressive 240% since the same period last year.

With nearly all its shipments (97%) in mainland China, Xiaomi also managed to join the ranks of the top five smartphone vendors in the world in taking a 5% share, Canalys said, although Samsung continues its global lead with 26% share.

Samsung shipped 13.2m smartphones in China during the second quarter, down from 15.5m in Q2 2013, giving the Korean multinational 12% market share, the same share as Chinese vendors Lenovo and Yulong.

Chinese companies now account for four-in-five of the country's top five smartphone manufacturers, the report said, and eight of the top ten.

Samsung and Apple are now the only international brands in China's top ten. Together, they have 18% market share after shipping 20m units during the quarter, while the eight Chinese vendors in the top ten have 65% market share.

Although little known in Western markets, Xiaomi's success was attributed to its strategy of growing volume shipments, its aggressive pricing policy and effective marketing.

"This is a phenomenal achievement for Xiaomi," said Jingwen Wang, a research analyst at Canalys.

"Xiaomi has [also] executed on its strategy to grow volume shipments. It has delivered compelling products at aggressive price points, focused chiefly on its locally relevant MIUI software features and services, backed by effectively targeted marketing," she added.

Jessica Kwee, a Canalys analyst based in Singapore, warned international brands that they "should take note" because Xiaomi has the potential to be a "disruptive force" beyond China.

The company is looking to expand into Indonesia, Mexico, Russia, Thailand and Turkey later this year and Kwee said its "aggressive pricing model will certainly resonate".

Meanwhile, Apple enjoyed more success than Samsung in China as its high-end iPhone helped it to deliver 58% year-on-year growth. Apple also secured 12% global market share, followed by Huawei (7%), Lenovo (5%) and new arrival Xiaomi (5%).

Data sourced from Canalys; additional content by Warc