Xiaomi is a company based in Beijing, China. It is privately owned and it designs and sells mobile smart phones. It works on an operating system which is Android based. It is also developing many other consumer electronics’ items.
What is the meaning behind its name?
The name Xiaomi refers to millet technology. Xiao refers to a Buddhist idea which suggests that a single rice or millet grain is as great as a hill. The company was given this name to indicate that it will work with little things like millet or grains of rice and working its way up to strive for perfection. `Mi’ at the end of its name is an acronym for Mobile Internet and Mission Impossible. It suggests the obstacles that the company had to face in the beginning when it was formed in 2010.
Third Largest Distributor of Smart Phones
Xiaomi is the third largest distributor of mobile smart phones in the world behind Samsung Electronics and Apple Incorporated. It designs mobile phones, develops them and markets the phones along with apps and consumer electronics. It released its first smart phone four years ago and since then, it has gained considerable market share in China. It expanded in the subsequent years by introducing a smart home device eco system. Companies like Lenovo and LG are behind Xiaomi. It is now recognized as the largest vendor of smart phones in China and it has gone ahead of Samsung Electronics as of December last year as per an IDC report. Xiaomi is also regarded as the most valuable technological startup in the world subsequent to receiving over a billion dollars’ worth of funds from various investors.
In August 2010, Xiaomi launched its first firmware called MIUI which was Android based. Mi 1 smart phone was introduced one year later and was shipped with MIUI firmware. This system is similar to the TouchWiz feature of Samsung and the iOS of Apple. The phone could be equipped with Android as stock.
Xiaomi mobile phones had their flagship unit in the Mi Series. The latest phone in this series is currently the Xiaomi Mi 4. It was launched in the middle of last year in China and distribution followed in Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand and India. The phone uses a Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 core which has been modified from the previous Mi 3 series. Experts vouch that this has been tested and acclaimed as the fastest Android smart phone in the world today as per the apps that do benchmark testing such as Quadrant, Antutu and Geekbench. Xiaomi has also received popular recognition for its Redmi that is a phablet and the second in the Redmi series of smart phones. Mi5 and Mi6 are set to be hits.
Successful Business Model
Xiaomi uses a business strategy in selling its mobile phones which is very different from other smart phone manufacturers like Apple and Samsung. It prices these phones at prices that are considered as bill of material and it does not compromise the quality of the components or the performance of the smart phones. It still profits from these narrow margins as it sells a phone unit for up to eighteen months instead of the half-year period employed by Samsung. It profits from the reduction in the costs of components over a period of time. It is also profiting from selling peripheral devices that are phone related. It also sells apps and online videos with themes. Its target audience base is the young generation in China, particularly the college students and people who enter the work force.