18 Jun Xiaomi or Can Another Chinese Manufacturer Succeed?
One of the youngest members in the Smartphone marketplace is the Beijing, China based Xiaomi Inc. Company. Founded only five years ago by the 8th richest man in China Lei Jun, in his native country considered the Steve jobs of China, Xiaomi is only one of the enterprises this smart investor is involved in. He is also one of the founders of ShunWei Capital, an investment company that has assets and investments all over China, he also founded Amazon China, is the chairman of Kingsoft, UCWeb, Inc., YY.com and the Great Wall Club. His net worth is estimated to be around 7 billion quid, or rather 30 billion, if Xiaomi’s assets are factored in. He personally owns 77.8% of Xiaomi.
It also may be of interest that one of the co-founders of Xiaomi is Qualcomm, the mobile processor developer behemoth considered the most important SoC manufacturer for smartphones and handheld devices. The whole financial background and the support of Qualcomm may seem enough as a warranty that Xiaomi cannot fail, but it takes more than that to succeed outside of China, it takes innovative and reliable products, great design, competitive pricing strategies and proper public relations activities. Except for the last one in the list, the advertising, Xiaomi seems to have managed all the other necessary steps.
One of the first success stories in the UK Xiaomi managed to accomplish with the Xiaomi Mi 2 smartphone. In 2012 the Mi 2 had a quad-core Snapdragon Krait processor with the Adreno GPU, 16 GB or 32 GB storage with 2 GB RAM, IPS LCD 4.3 inch touchscreen with 342 ppi pixel density and a price that was in the mid to lower mid-range. Worldwide sales surpassed 10 million units, which was a great success for the newcomer. The success, which was most pronounced in India, despite a ban on several devices instigated by Ericsson, led to investments into the Xiaomi Company by Ratan Tata, of the Mumbai based Tata Group conglomerate.
The next big release for Xiaomi will be the latest flagship for the company, the Xiaomi Mi 5, expected to be released in the third quarter of 2015. It will be a true top of the line smartphone, featuring a Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 chipset, dual quad-core/octa-core, with the latest Adreno 530 GPU, internal storage of either 16 GB or 64 GB, and full 4 GB of RAM. The IPS LCD 5.5 inches touchscreen is capable of a 1440 x 2560 pixels resolution at roughly 534 ppi pixel density. It will have the latest Android OS 5.1 Lollipop OS pre-installed. The primary camera will have 16 MP, resolution 5312 x 2988 pixels and dual LED flash, secondary camera is whopping 8 MP.
It is possible that Xiaomi with their policy will manage to be a leader in developing countries, such as India, Malaysia, but also China, whereby the dominance in the First World will be much tougher to conquer without a proper PR campaign and support by prominent celebrities. Furthermore the availability of Xiaomi mobile phones and smartphones in the UK, for instance, is next to non-existent, no large cellular service provider is pushing Xiaomi phones or even featuring them next to the popular choices like Apple iPhone, Samsung Galaxy S and Note, HTC One and Sony Xperia Z series.