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A formidable competitor to Samsung and Apple in China market, and probably in global market as well...

Xiaomi targets premium market with Mi4

BEIJING — China’s Xiaomi yesterday unveiled its new flagship Mi4 smartphone, aimed at the premium handset market dominated by Apple and Samsung. The Mi4 has a 5-inch, 1080p screen and a Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 2.5Ghz processor, said chief executive Lei Jun at a launch event in Beijing.

Featuring iPhone-like metal sides, the Mi4’s similarities to Apple’s smartphone drew murmurs from the crowd when it was showcased by the CEO.
#16:12: Finally we have prices for the Mi 4 in China. RMB 1,999 (US$322) for the 16GB version, RMB 2,499 (US$400) for the 64GB Mi 4. Same as the Mi3 price when it launched before it later got a price cut.

#16:14: Since Xiaomi doesn’t inflate its prices in other markets (unlike most phone-makers), you can be sure the Mi 4 will be pretty much that price when it hits other countries eventually. But no time-frame yet.

#16:15: The confusing state of 4G in China also muddies the situation for the Xiaomi Mi 4. The WCDMA Mi 4 for China Unicom ships this month; the CDMA one for China Telecom in August; and the 4G one for China Mobile (so that’s TD-LTE) in September.

#16:17: So it appears that the Xiaomi Mi 4 only supports TD-LTE at this stage, which is bad news for other markets. That’s because only China’s TD-LTE network is in action while the nation’s other two telcos await the green light to start their FD-LTE 4G networks. Most of the world uses FDD-LTE.
Been using Redmi Note. quite good.

can use 2 SIM card. good for travel.
screen big enough. good for middle aged guys.
UI ok. Like other Android phone.

no redmi note screen protector on mkt. so I just use the Samsung Note one.
No extra Redmi Note battery for sale. Bought the wrong one with the order.

Still trying to figure out how to install app on the external SD card.
(to avoid using the 8 GB internal memory)

Value for money for $200.
After calling it a day with Blackberry, all I can say that the mobile phone industry is one of the most brutal industries I've seen.

I've seen the rise and fall of Nokia, Motorla, Sony-Ericsson, Blackberry.

Seemingly out of the blue, Xiaomi seems to be gaining traction.

Great to watch, but its just an industry I personally avoid trying to pick winners in.

yup its brutal alright. Samsung will be feeling the squeeze.
Apple will be Apple, with its IOS, no one can emulate, with highend price to match.
Samsung on the otherhand is using Andriod, same as Xiaomi.
Herein lies the issue, there is nothing stopping Xiaomi improving to the same state as Samsung but at a much lower price.
So will Samsung play the margin game with Xiaomi? I doubt so... production cost is technically much lower for Xiaomi.
Similar to tablet, unless you move to high margin like Apple, there is basically no margin for execution error.

Service support may have concern in certain quarter later. The other is Patent issue which surprising quiet for xiaomi. This will likely limit their oversea market ambitions.
Actually the whole handset space is a very interesting study on strategy and consumer behaviors if u follow it closely.

In the past decade we see Motorola subsequently Nokia dictating the markets with form factors ie clamshells and chocolate bars.

OS was simple but effective like the original palm OS. Then came internet and phone makers try to be the internet themselves by copying the i-Mode model... nope it is not by Apple Smile Therein came the WAP idea.

Even up to 2006 I was frustrated why we still couldn't access internet on mobiles with 3G rather than go through restrcited access through the phone makers' primitive OS (much like some "smart" TVs past years). Their answer was no content for WAP and hence no demand for 3G. err.... WAP?? I was talking about HTTP.... Then Blackberry and Nokia offered HTTP on a ridiculously small screen.... because their focus was on form factor.

Then came iPhone. The original iPhone had a few issues but effectively it was a mini-miracle as per my posts in Apple thread. The biggest game changer was a reasonably workable access to internet on the go. It impacted the form factor issue, the OS issue, and the 3G issue.

Suddenly everything changed, except for the incumbent mobile phone makers. Motorola and Nokia continued to maintain their form factors and OS while Samsung started to develop their own OS Bada. Microsoft was interesting case study of how the right strategy ie Microsoft CE could have such lousy execution as they try to do OS and hardware under Balmer. Compare that with Job's execution and integration. HTC aka High Tech Computer originally was the de facto handset for Windows phones, before MS messed up big time.

Then came Google Android and subsequent Chrome. You can see Google is playing a long term game with little profit to show for Android and Chrome. Their strategy is market capture, slowly but surely, and still cooking. End game is for everyone to use their device for internet, either OS, Apps or hardware. They are looking to be the next Microsoft of Internet. Watch this space.

Excluding Google, the rest was history. Both Motorola, Nokia and Blackberry didn't realise their form factors was not condusive to internet. They were mesmerised by their own success and lost the long term plan. They were killed by stagnation and procrastination. It was pretty obvious and not even hindside bias. Whereas Samsung bet on everything as usual... if Android didn't pick up , you can be sure they would be using iOS Smile

Where does Xiaomi fit? In their pursuit for lowest cost, Apple and others went to China, with the Koreans and Japanese later. The difference is that Apple demanded strong engineering skills and quality. The rest was just focusing on cost. Monkey see monkey do without understanding. Why is that important? It breeds an entire ecosystem in handset manufacturing in China which came TCL, Lenovo, Bird, etc and now Xiaomi

Even so AFAIK Xiaomi is losing $ on every handset though they claim turn around, but they have a long term strategy which is heavily dependent on when how long their backers can bleed.

That is also the reason why ODM choose TSMC and UMC for foundry and not SIMC. If we do not learn from history we bound to repeat it. But some CEOs are not good history students, and China has to thank them for it Smile
Just to add to what specuvestor said, what is interesting about Xiaomi is that it started off as an after market android ROM provider and it's will be very interesting to see the relationship of Xiaomi and Google in future, especially when Xiaomi is starting to expand its own ecosystem with the micloud and their appstore. There's also some new technology like modular handset design, which Google bought Motorola's project ara division and it might be a game changer to the mobile scene like what android did to iOS.
Some interesting stats:


So here comes the fact from the IDC data, Samsung lost 5.6%/7.1% of share QoQ/YoY to 25.2%, the lowest since 2011. While the market grew 23%YoY and 17%QoQ, Samsung is the only vendor that bears with QoQ/YoY units drop (-16%QoQ/-4%YoY). Apple is not looking good, either, 2Q market share hit new low, reaching 12%.

So Who is gaining the market share? I guess not a surprise- The Chinese players.
Huawei posted the biggest surprise as its shipment grew 50% QoQ and 95%YoY with 7% market share in 2Q. No. 3 now, globally. The strong growth is derived from overseas export that accounts for 40% of total shipment. Lenovo and Xiaomi both grow as well, while Xiaomi grows times of Lenovo.

What to expect in 3Q/4Q? Samsung continue to drop with market share 22-24%, especially iPhone 6 on the way in September.
What about the Chinese players shipment target in 2014? Huawei -80mn units ( 1H 34mn); Xiaomi -60mn units ( 1H 26mn); Lenovo-60mn units –ex Moto ( 1H 28mn )"
I have merged the two "Xiaomi" threads into one, for ease of reference.

Please take note.

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