Friday, October 23, 2015
Xiaomi Is Amazon With A Focus On Smartphones
The company, which is based in China, is valued at $46 billion, which makes it the second-most valuable startup in the world behind Uber. Xiaomi has created a reputation by selling inexpensive, high-quality smartphones which sell out in Asian markets in a matter of hours. The founder of the company also reminded people at a recent Wall Street Journal conference that it offers a large list of products ranging from HDTVs to air purifiers, all of which are offered at extremely low prices. Co-Founder and President of Xiaomi Bin Lin was quoted saying, "We are more in the area of smart consumer electronics. We'd rather be called an Internet company."
However, the company's push to make itself bigger puts it on the same level as massive online retailers, like Amazon or Alibaba. As a matter of fact, both Amazon and Alibaba have benefited from the increased comfort of consumers making purchases online. It's a strategy that could help Xiaomi expand faster and into different parts of the world. Xiaomi is actually already planning on launching a US and European online store in May that will feature electronic accessories but no phones.
In markets where Xiaomi does sell smartphones, however, the company believes that these handheld devices will be the remote control for everything we have. Unlike Amazon and Alibaba, Xiaomi only sells gadgets. "It's been clear for a long time that it has much broader ambitions and that seeing Xiaomi as just a smartphone company was missing the bigger picture," says Jackdaw Research Analyst Jan Dawson.
For example, Lin talked about the capabilities of his new air purifier that addresses the pollution issue in China. The air purifier is capable of clearing the air around you in six minutes and can also connect to a smartphone. He also called the MiTV 3 television that Xiaomi recently launched "almost like a phone, except for the bigger display." The HDTV boasts a 60" 4K resolution screen for a price tag of under $800.
Xiaomi is also taking a play out of Amazon's playbook and sees an opportunity to provide media, gaming, and other services through TV, all of which will also connect to a smartphone. According to Lin, 130 million people use the company's smartphones, televisions, routers, and other products and Xiaomi is generating pretty good revenue from the services related to those products.
The company is also looking past smartphones as its main source of business. "The last couple of years in China the smartphone business is changing from rapid growth to a replacement market," Lin added. "So the absolute growth of the smartphone market is flat." Lin also talked about the concern that smartphones are becoming boring and that consumers are finding it increasingly difficult to get excited about the seemingly same products that come out every year. "In the next few months, I'm sure we can come up with something that is super cool," he added.
The Mi store from Xiaomi in the United States offers things like battery chargers and headphones though Lin did say that he was thinking of selling the company's popular smartphones in the states, though he did not give specific details on when that would happen.
Content originally published here
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