Xiaomi is a China based company that is the 3rd largest smartphone distributor globally and known as the ‘Apple of China’. And you probably haven’t heard of them. The reason you haven’t heard of them is because they avoid selling outside of China due to the strict patent infringement laws in tier 1 markets such as the U.S. and Europe. Just for clarification’s sake even though I’m sure you already know the two top spots for smartphone distribution are solidly held by Samsung on the highest podium and Apple right below them.
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Why Soo Scared?
Well, Xiaomi’s title of the “Apple of China” isn’t unfounded. Their designs and interface (operating system) borrow heavily from Apple and Samsung, for example, their most recent phablet (phone come tablet) is called the Mi Note that is eerily similar to the Samsung Galaxy Note. Their operating system although based on Android looks and works similarly to iOS (the iPhones operating system). This exposes Xiaomi to legal action against it from the two biggest smartphone companies, which are known for going after each other and competitors for patent and copyright infringement.
Why is Xiaomi Note-worthy then?
See what I did there? I used Xiaomi Note (as in the phone they just released) in the header, I crack myself up. Xiaomi is just 5 years old and yet has managed to overtake Samsung and Apple in one of the largest developing markets in the world.
How Did they Do It?
Some might argue that Xiaomi’s success is solely based on the extreme sexiness and sheer animal magnetism of their CEO, compared to Samsung’s and Apple’s which is a significant and often ignored element in the tech world. Sexiness aside though Xiaomi’s business model is based on selling very affordable devices with very competitive technical specs. This has allowed Xiaomi to penetrate China’s new emerging middle class, the strongest buying segment in the very populous country.
Flash Sales and Marketing
Xiaomi based a lot of their marketing on so called ‘flash sales’ that are basically one day sales that usually offer just a few products for a heavily discounted price. This created very easy hype and awareness around the brand, which obviously worked in getting Xiaomi into the number 1 spot in China. Their marketing goes a little beyond that though. The company’s Facebook page often features creative durability ‘tests’. They use electric drills, grinders, liquid nitrogen, hammers and fireworks. This, of course, is because there is bound to be someone out there that will accidently sit in liquid nitrogen and then hit their frozen posterior with a hammer. These videos are just too good not to share though. I have omitted one video though as it uses live crabs and lobsters to test the durability and using animals is just plain wrong.
Power Tool Test
Liquid Nitrogen Test
Can I Get One of These Not -169 degree proof phones?
Unfortunately, they won’t be available for another 4-5 years in the tier 1 markets of the U.S. and Europe. Like I mentioned there are various factor behind this, and the company’s biggest fear is its competitors taking legal action against them. Eventually though hopefully we will also be able to by a high performance fireworks tested device for just a few hundred dollars.
See Also: Samsung and 4 Other Companies Involved in Privacy Violations
Is there another company worth mentioning? Let us know which small start-ups we should keep an eye on in the comment section below.