10 Reasons You'll Hear More About Xiaomi, the 'Apple of China'

By Don Reisinger  |  Posted 2014-05-16 Print this article Print

Xiaomi is not a company that the average American hears much about. That's partly due to the fact that Xiaomi only produces smartphones and mobile applications for markets outside the United States. It's also intentional, as Xiaomi doesn't want to focus its marketing efforts on the United States for the time being, and instead the Asian mobile technology company is trying to bring an Apple-like product and marketing strategy to other parts of the world. Looking ahead, however, Xiaomi appears to have all of the hallmarks of a company on its way up in the mobile industry. Indeed, the company, which was founded just three years ago, generated more than $5 billion in revenue last year alone and has become known as the "Apple of China." Even its founder, Lei Jun, projects a level of charisma and creativity that is reminiscent of Apple co-founder Steve Jobs. This eWEEK slide show takes a look at why Xiaomi has a great chance of becoming a household name across North America in the next few years.

  • 10 Reasons You'll Hear More About Xiaomi, the 'Apple of China'

    by Don Reisinger
    1 - 10 Reasons You'll Hear More About Xiaomi, the 'Apple of China'
  • Xiaomi's Sales Are Outstanding

    Try to find a Xiaomi device on store shelves in China, and you'll quickly discover that it's exceedingly difficult. Xiaomi releases its devices in small batches at a time, and they are often sold out even before the product hits store shelves. In the future, Xiaomi will have to ramp up production, but for now, the relatively short supply to maximize demand is working quite well.
    2 - Xiaomi's Sales Are Outstanding
  • Product Design Is Impeccable

    One of the hallmarks of Xiaomi's products is their design. Xiaomi has found a way to build products with extremely high-end specs, while maintaining a nice design and affordable price. Many of the company's products can go head-to-head with the iPhone on design and, in some cases, come with even better features. Not bad.
    3 - Product Design Is Impeccable
  • Even Xiaomi's Events Are Apple-like

    Whenever Xiaomi announces new products, the company holds major events. Lei Jun heads out on stage, talks about how great his company's products are, and the media across the country drools over his every word. The events also help build hype for Xiaomi's products, which only boost sales.
    4 - Even Xiaomi's Events Are Apple-like
  • International Expansion Is Under Way

    Although Xiaomi started as a China-based company, the company now sells in many more countries, including Singapore, Thailand, Russia, Brazil and Mexico. So far, Xiaomi hasn't cracked the U.S. or Canada, but mobile market observers suggest it's only a matter of time before that happens. Xiaomi, like Apple, could sweep the globe in no time.
    5 - International Expansion Is Under Way
  • Its Founder Is Jobs-like

    Lei Jun looks like one of the most Jobsian tech CEOs in the world today. Not only does he have starlike status in China and the media fawns over his every word, but he also dresses in a similar way. It's an unlikely day you'd find Lei wearing anything other than a black shirt and jeans. Lei has taken some pages out of Steve Jobs' book, and it certainly appears to be working.
    6 - Its Founder Is Jobs-like
  • The Hype Machine at Its Best?

    It's entirely possible that Xiaomi has created a better hype machine than any other company in the technology industry. As noted, the company holds big events to announce products, and by limiting supply, the demand for its products is simply staggering. It's hard to put it into words, but think of the hype for Xiaomi's products in China as on the scale of Apple's in the U.S. times five.
    7 - The Hype Machine at Its Best?
  • It Could One Day Own China's Mobile Market

    Xiaomi has secured a major part of the Chinese market. The company sold around 20 million smartphones in 2013 and is expected to sell more than twice as many in 2014. Earlier this year, research firm IDC reported that while Xiaomi is not currently one of the top five in China for smartphone shipments, it should hit that mark this year and eventually leapfrog many of its competitors, possibly even beating out Apple. If Xiaomi can ramp up its production, it'll be hard to beat the company in China.
    8 - It Could One Day Own China's Mobile Market
  • The Employee Base Is Strong

    Xiaomi's management team includes some serious players in the tech space. Aside from Lei, who was a major player in many Chinese startups, the company is also co-founded by Lin Bin, who worked at both Microsoft and Google, and Zhou Guangping, who formerly worked at Motorola. All of Xiaomi's executives have real and invaluable experience in the mobile space.
    9 - The Employee Base Is Strong
  • A Real Samsung Competitor?

    One of the most interesting things about Xiaomi is that if it continues to grow at this rate, it could one day challenge Samsung in the Android space. Samsung has established itself as the dominant Android mobile device vendor in many countries around the world, but Xiaomi has done the same in the critical Chinese market. Look for Xiaomi and Samsung to go head-to-head for Android supremacy in the coming years.
    10 - A Real Samsung Competitor?
  • It's Actually a Huge Company

    Although Xiaomi is still small when compared with companies such as Apple and Samsung, it's actually quite big when compared with other mobile players. At the end of last year, for instance, Xiaomi was valued at over $10 billion, dwarfing the valuations of both Motorola and BlackBerry. It also puts the company on par with Lenovo in terms of market valuation. That's no small feat.
    11 - It's Actually a Huge Company

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