Xiaomi may not be a household name just yet, but company founder and CEO, Lei Jun has some lofty aspirations for the budding smartphone maker. Speaking at the Global Mobile Internet Conference in Beijing, Jun outlined Xiaomi’s past, present and its future.
For a company which was essentially born only three years ago, Xiaomi’s rise to the limelight can only be described as meteoric. You may remember the sales record of the Mi-2S, that recently made headlines around the world, after 200,000 smartphones were sold in 45 seconds. (Are you listening Google? Now that’s how you sell smartphones!)
But Xiaomi is expecting much bigger things, with Jun recently claiming he expects to sell 15 million smartphones this year, double the amount Xiaomi sold in 2012. With a loyal fan base and some incredible devices it certainly isn’t outside Xiaomi’s reach.
With its two-phone strategy, Xiaomi hopes to cover both sides of the market. Jun said that the $370 Mi-2S is aimed at students, while the $241 Mi-2A is a “simplified version” with a lower price.
One question that comes to people’s lips when they see brilliant devices from Chinese smartphone makers is: when will we see it in international markets? ZTE, Huawei and Lenovo are both struggling with this problem, as it is simply more difficult to cut your own path in crowded international markets.
After announcing plans for launching its devices in Taiwan and Hong Kong, rumors lit up, suggesting that Xiaomi was ready to move into international markets. However, Jun brushed off the rumors, explaining that Xiaomi is just testing the waters to see how its phones compare against smartphones from larger companies like Samsung and HTC.
However, should the waters in Taiwan and Hong Kong taste syrupy sweet, well who knows where Xiaomi will be headed?
Xiaomi is often described as the “Chinese Apple,” with its loyal fan base, however, Jun said he sees his company in a different light.
Jun mentioned that Xiaomi began by making the MiUi software before moving into the hardware business and pointed out the difference in the way Xiaomi builds its software. While Steve Jobs once famously claimed that Apple build products that its employees like to use, Xiaomi is constantly listening to its customers input, with Jun claiming: “Fans are a huge part of me.”
Xiaomi is in a brilliant position, with a loyal fan base and great products, we expect to see more from the company in the future and hopefully that means we get to see them outside of Asia as well.
Interested in an Xiaomi smartphone? Hope Xiaomi will branch out into international markets?