The fact that 70 million smartphone sales is considered lackluster for Xiaomi is a testament to how ridiculously successful the company has been over the past few years, but that doesn’t change the fact that the once burgeoning Chinese company wasn’t even able to reach the lowest sales goal that it set for itself last year. Early in the year, Xiaomi boasted that it would sell at least 80 million smartphones in 2015, but as the year came to a close, it was pretty clear that even that estimate was too high, and after a few months of dodging questions and pretending like it didn’t care about sales numbers, Xiaomi has finally admitted that it overestimated itself.
The case of the missing phone statistics has finally been solved – today, Xiaomi revealed that it sold 70 million smartphones in 2015, a number below even their most modest predictions. It’s been apparent for a while that something went wrong for Xiaomi in 2015. In 2014, the company predicted that they would sell 100 million phones in the coming year – an estimate that was promptly bumped down to 80 million last March. When late 2015 rolled around, and China’s techies eagerly awaited the company’s sales report, they were met with silence. CEO Lei Jun talked in December about how the company “does not emphasize goals such as smartphone sales anymore,” which certainly didn’t build anyone’s confidence that the company had met its targets. Xiaomi – the company that used to post real-time updates of the numbers of phones sold during its flash sales – was suddenly shy about numbers. But that changed today, with an official Weibo post by the company, showing co-founder Lin Bin announcing the company’s stats. The post said that Xiaomi sold 70 million phones last year, and was “the country’s number one” seller – a statement that may not be completely accurate.