Xiaomi targeting Apple in ‘life and death’ growth plan

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An ambitious new growth plan will see Xiaomi targeting Apple, aiming to overtake the Cupertino company to become China’s biggest premium smartphone brand.

It follows news that record iPhone 13 sales in China saw Apple take the top slot in China during Q4, achieving its highest ever share of the smartphone market in the country…

Background

Xiaomi rose to prominence by essentially aiming to be ‘China’s Apple,’ with a rather on-the-nose approach.

The company sold Mi Phones and Mi Pads, installed Android skins to mimic the appearance of iOS, copied Apple’s marketing materials, emulated the Californian company’s keynote presentations, and company founder and CEO Lei Jun not only took to wearing jeans and black polo necks, but even used the phrase ‘one more thing.’

Apple’s then design chief Jony Ive was not impressed when Xiaomi blatantly copied the design of the iPhone X, right down to the signature notch. The company did the same thing with the iPad mini.

Xiaomi targeting Apple afresh

While the company has somewhat moved on from stealing Apple’s product designs and names, Lei Jun still aims to compete head-to-head with the iPhone, reports the South China Morning Post.

Chinese tech giant Xiaomi Corp will ratchet up its challenge to Apple by focusing on the high-end segment of the global smartphone market, according to company founder and chief executive Lei Jun […]

“[We aim to] fully benchmark against Apple in [terms of] product and experience, and become China’s biggest high-end brand in the next three years,” Lei said […]

Lei described competition in the high-end smartphone arena as “a war of life and death.”

One advantage Xiaomi does have over Apple is the scale of its physical presence in China – and it intends to build on that.

Xiaomi announced an ambitious retail infrastructure programme that will see it roll out 20,000 new retail stores over the next three years across China’s countryside, the area which accounts for 70 per cent of the domestic smartphone market. It currently operates a network of more than 10,000 bricks-and-mortar stores across the country.

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