The history of Xiaomi is an example of how a young electronics manufacturer can quickly become popular and stand on a par with many well-known brands.
The Chinese company Xiaomi (小米, read as "Xiaomi" with an accent on the last letter) is known mainly for its smartphones. At the same time, the range of manufactured equipment is very large - tablets, laptops, TVs, household appliances, gyroboards, fitness trackers, quadrocopters and much more. The manufacturer is constantly experimenting and trying something new. Looking at the growing popularity of this brand, it is already hard to believe that its history began just yesterday - in 2010.
The name of the company translates as "millet" - a grain crop that is actively grown in many parts of the world and is characterized by high yields and drought tolerance. It is possible that it was these two factors that influenced the choice when the businessman Lei Jun (雷军) was thinking about what to name his smartphone startup.
Market android smartphones was then very young. The completely obsolete operating systems Windows Mobile and Symbian were already living out their lives and manufacturers began to look more actively at the new system from Google. The number of devices was still small, but it was already clear that Android had huge potential and a great future. This was well understood by Lei Jun (subsequently, many media outlets will dub him nothing more than “Chinese Steve Jobs”), who already had rich experience in venture capital investments. He co-founded Xiaomi Tech with 7 partners, all of whom already had rich experience in the tech industry through their work at companies such as Google, Microsoft, Motorola, and others.
Initially, the company did not plan to deal with smartphones, its development was a firmware for smartphones based on Android and called MIUI. It was planned to earn only on the services provided.
The firmware was first introduced to the world in 2010. Then it was different dampness, it was also felt that the developers were frankly inspired by iOS when creating it. But MIUI has aroused interest among users and it has gained a lot of fans. The developers constantly released updates, actively cooperated with users, taking into account their wishes. All this could not but affect the popularity of MIUI, the number of users soon reached 500 thousand, which was a very good indicator for those times.
In 2011, Xiaomi entered the smartphone market with the introduction of the Mi1 or Mi-One. Technically, this device did not stand out much from the solutions of competitors, its design also lacked the stars from the sky. But the value for money is impressive. The pre-order price of the device was about $310. Sales quickly took off.
This was followed by the Mi2 model, which became extremely popular, with which the initial growth and development of the company is associated. In 2013, the Mi3 model was introduced, sold in the amount of almost 19 million units. By that time, the company had already become one of the top 5 most popular brands in China. In the same year, the first flagship store was opened in Beijing, and Hugo Barra, who previously worked on Google's Android system, took over as vice president. It is believed that it was thanks to Barra that the company's rapid breakthrough into the international market was ensured.
In 2014, the company began entering the markets of other countries and announced its plans to become the most popular smartphone manufacturer in the world. And this statement did not seem unfounded, because already at that time Xiaomi was considered the fastest growing Chinese brand. In 2018, the company entered the top five largest smartphone manufacturers in the world.
The main reason for the company's success is the excellent ratio of features and cost. The manufacturer strives in every possible way to reduce the cost of production and advertising. As a result, the devices are sold for a price not much higher than their cost. The company earns income mainly due to the number of devices sold. Add to this the sale of all kinds of accessories and the original model with income from services. In order to reach as many users as possible, she began to expand the range, it began to include everything in a row, from televisions to rice cookers. But most importantly, Xiaomi has managed to create an army of loyal fans, which is extremely important for the further development of the brand. This alone saves hundreds of thousands of dollars on advertising.
Interestingly, the growing popularity of Xiaomi smartphones in China has led to the fact that fakes began to appear on the country's market. Chinese fakes for Chinese smartphones - even 10 years ago, this seemed impossible and could only be perceived as a joke. However, not all Xiaomi smartphones are manufactured in the Celestial Empire, there are also production facilities in Brazil.