Most of you probably haven’t heard of this Chinese behemoth that gives the likes of Samsung a run for their money. When I mention the name Xiaomi, folks at Samsung would think I am bashing them since the former dethroned Samsung becoming the kingpin in one of the lucrative and promising smartphone market of the world. And that’s non other than China.
Well, every smartphone player is craving to have a piece of china, Apple inclusive having increased its retail presence in that country even under tight regulations from Chinese authorities, since it’s one of the growth areas western markets crave for having reached nearly saturation levels.
Here is a brief history about Xiaomi
Founded by Lei Jun who ranks as the 23rd richest man off the Chinese mainland and a few investors, this four year old electronics company has managed to scope the third place vending inexpensive smartphones beating long time favorites and perennials like LG and Lenovo to fourth and fifth place respectively. How has this privately held company managed to beat veterans in the game? I guess you can find the answer in the paragraph that follows.
“Xiaomi sacrifices profits at the end of the day and its business model is not sustainable”
One, is that the company sells its products at nearly cost price though critics have come-up to mock this. Given that Xiaomi sells its high speced products at nearly half what the likes of Samsung charge, this has driven their sales figures high with their devices selling out in a few seconds after they’re listed. This hasn’t gone well with critics who allege Xiaomi sacrifices profits at the end of the day and its business model is not sustainable in the long run.
The Chinese startup has expanded exponentially and poached former Google Exec Hugo Barra in September 2013 to lead its international efforts. The company has already set up shop in some Asian markets like Singapore, Taiwan, India with plans to launch in Latin America. This has seen the company grow to becoming the world’s third largest smartphone maker even without setting up shop in established markets like the United states and Europe.
However, the company has built up an empire but with serious criticism from western media accusing the company of ripping off Western icons like Apple. From its founder mimicking the late Apple founder Steve Jobs (R.I.P), to wearing his legendary black t-shirt and blue trousers and sneakers to even borrowing a few words from his vocabulary. That’s Lei Jun and he was nicknamed Steve Jobs from that part of the world.
“Is this the next Apple riding high in Android World?”
Then when it comes to its product portfolio, this even drew attention from Apple’s design guru Jony Ive who accused the Chinese startup of theft and being lazy since its doing copy and paste to products he helped design.
The company is replicating success that took many industry heavyweights years to achieve and on record, it has been nominated the world’s most valuable privately held startup at a tune of $45 billion according to reuters more than the hot taxi startup Uber. Is this the next Apple riding high in Android World?
Android heavyweight Samsung has seen its profits dwindle resulting from companies like Xiaomi that sell their top hardware at a fraction of what Samsung charges. Recently, Xiaomi ‘stole’ the number one spot in China away from Samsung and the company has managed to climb the ladder in its short tenure to become a global force however much its launched its operations in just a few countries.