Business / Technology

Xiaomi spotlighted ahead of fifth anniversary

(Xinhua) Updated: 2015-04-03 16:00

Currently, Xiaomi uses Google's Android operating system, which is more PC-like and less user-friendly than Apple's ios system.

Apple's patents were nearly double the quantity of Xiaomi as of Dec 21, 2014, the patent search and service system of State Intellectual Property Office of China showed.

The price for the Mi Note and the Red Mi 2A is 2,499 yuan ($407) and 599 yuan respectively, much cheaper than the 5,288 yuan iPhone 6 and the 6,088 yuan iPhone 6 plus.

Given such big price differences, some analysts say their consumers are different market segments. Their competition is compared to the rivalry of mass consumer products and boutique producers.

However, it is from the mass consumers that Xiaomi has benefited the most in the global market. According to IT research firm Gartner, for the fourth quarter of 2014, "out of all of the global smartphone makers, Xiaomi saw the largest jump by tripling its sales compared to a year ago."

Xiaomi shipped 18.6 million smartphones in the 4th quarter last year, behind homeland competitor Lenovo's 24 million and Huawei's 21 million.

Meanwhile, Apple sold 74.8 million iPhones, slightly higher than Samsung's sales of 73 million smartphones. Apple had become the world's largest smartphone manufacturer again.

The reason why high-priced iPhones sell the best is because their high quality, according to Wang Guanxiong, an Internet analyst.

Nevertheless, industry experts believe Chinese smartphone makers are narrowing the gap with foreign giants.

"China is doing well on home-grown smartphone core technologies including chips and operating systems. Xiaomi, Huawei and Alibaba invested huge on operating systems. Home-made smartphone makers depend less and less on foreign giants," said Ni Guangnan, a member of the Chinese Academy of Engineering.

Huawei spends 10 percent of its revenue on research and development(R&D) each year. Xiaomi never published its R&D spending. Apple spent nearly $2 billion on research and development in the first fiscal quarter of 2015, an increase of 42 percent year on year.

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