There is a wave of Chinese manufacturers looking to establish themselves in the international Android market. When we think Chinese OEMs, the first thought goes to companies that have have been frequenting tech shows with some amazing devices on offer, such as Huawei, ZTE, Baidu, and Meizu. Another, less known, name that is coming up in conversations is Xiaomi.
Xiaomi is very new to the cut-throat world of Android smartphone manufacturing, with its first device, the Xiaomi MI-One, releasing only last fall. But if you’re into Android development or are familiar with custom ROMs, the name Xiaomi will be familiar to you, as they are the developers of the popular MIUI custom ROM.
Xiaomi has a high-end smartphone in the pipeline, if rumors of a quad-core Snapdragon S4-powered device are true, and the MI-One is no slouch either, with a dual-core processor, 1GB RAM, and an 8MP camera, for the low price of $310. Similar to what Amazon did with the Kindle Fire, all Xiaomi devices will feature their custom MIUI ROM, which is said to provide a faster and richer user experience.
Xiaomi’s just-released H1 2012 (half year) earnings attest the growing popularity of the device manufacturer in the largest market in the world. Xiaomi has pulled in 6.1 billion yuan (~$955 million) in revenue in the first half of 2012, and sold over 3 million devices. Granted, this isn’t much compared to the revenue of companies like HTC, Samsung, or even home-rival Huawei, but the comparison isn’t fair just yet, as the Chinese company is only established in its home market.
This is truly a great start for a company that is so new to the game, and with its foray into the international market, the number is only going to grow. Xiaomi will likely continue to release high-end devices at very reasonable prices, and the MIUI ROM on-board is a big plus for many users. Even though we’ve seen some great Android devices this year (with more to come), the other Android manufacturers are certainly in for a fight when this Chinese company bursts onto the world stage.
What are your thoughts? Would you consider buying a Xiaomi smartphone with the MIUI custom ROM? How popular do you think these Chinese OEMs are going to be on the world stage? Let us know in the comments section below.
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The Xiaomi M1 costed too much for what it offered. The M2, if the price tag holds true should be very attractive indeed. The problem here would be the openness of the platform. I tried MIUI on my SGS2, found it too iPhone-ish and didn’t like it. I hope that source code files will be available for developers to make Cyanogenmod 10 for the M2.
The other hurdle would be distribution. AFAIK there’s no official channel for people outside of the PRC to buy the M1. That means stepping into the scary wild wild west territory of Chinese online stores. Xiaomi would do well to set up an official online web store to sell the M2 from.
I want to contact xiaomi in English. How do I do this?
Pierre “Josef” DiazGranados
DGTranslationsPurplegreen Marketing Intenational
It’s DGTranslations, Inc. & Purplegreen Marketing International