& cplSiteName &

China Smartphone Star Eyes US Market

Robert Clark
News Analysis
Robert Clark
6/13/2014
50%
50%

Xiaomi might not be a familiar name outside of China, and certainly not in the US, but that may soon change.

The four-year-old handset firm caught attention outside China when it enticed Google's Hugo Barra to take over its Android business in last August.

But it's now starting to take its distinctive and so far highly successful business model abroad. It has had some early success in Singapore, and has nominated ten other countries for expansion this year. Barra has told an Android news site that the company will target North America from as early as next year.

Last year it sold just under 19 million phones, increasing sales by 150% to 31.7 billion yuan ($5.1 bn) -- but the sales chart doesn't tell the full story.

The company updates its Android-based OS, MIUI, each week based on customer suggestions. It holds feverish events with delirious fans, known as "Mi-fen", whose passion makes Apple fanboys look anemic. During one of these in April it sold 1.3 million phones in a day.

By limiting its distribution to online, Xiaomi, whose name means "little rice," creates scarcity. Right now it has a lengthy waiting list for half a dozen devices, including 9.82 million in the queue for a single product, the Mi 2.

Until now, it has sold just a handful of devices outside China. But the appearance of President Lin Bin onstage at the GSMA's annual Asian conference this week underlines its global ambitions.

Xiaomi has a solid international background. Founded in April 2010, its original backers included Qualcomm, Singapore government investment arm Temasek, and IDG Capital. Its eight founders, including Lin and CEO Lei Jun, all had a history with foreign companies in China such as Google, Microsoft and Motorola.

In his pitch to the GSMA audience, Lin cited figures that showed that seven Xiaomi handset models ranked in the top 15 devices most heavily used online in China. He says the new Mi 3 is the world's fastest smartphone and the first non-PC to carry the Nvidia K1 chip.

With the support of its suppliers such as Qualcomm Inc. (Nasdaq: QCOM), Nvidia Corp. (Nasdaq: NVDA), Sony Corp. (NYSE: SNE) and Sharp Electronics Corp. , it has expanded its product line to tablets, smart TVs and hi-fi gear.

While the company sells directly to users in China, it may decide it needs help in the channel in cracking new markets. Opportunities beckon for operators.

— Robert Clark, contributing editor, special to Light Reading

(6)  | 
Comment  | 
Print  | 
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View        ADD A COMMENT
SachinEE
50%
50%
SachinEE,
User Rank: Light Sabre
6/25/2014 | 5:30:33 AM
Re: China Smartphone star eyes US market
It is a good thing that Xiaomi has decided to branch out and invest their product more in the US. This bold step will be a good one since it has been a success in China. Technology advancements are always a better thing and this will significantly boost the economy of the United States. The number of android users has also increased because of its efficiency and the fact that android phones are cheaper than I- Phones. It is definitely a good business opportunity for Xiaomi.
DHagar
50%
50%
DHagar,
User Rank: Light Sabre
6/16/2014 | 12:44:32 PM
Re: China Smartphone Star Eyes US Market
@Kruz, I am cheering with you. 

I think they have the opportunity to not only compete well, but even possibly to change the market - that would be even better.
DHagar
50%
50%
DHagar,
User Rank: Light Sabre
6/16/2014 | 12:41:04 PM
Re: China Smartphone Star Eyes US Market
@danielcawrey, very true.  It appears they have the ability to compete and potentially provide even more innovative consumer choices with their business model.  That is what can change the market.
Kruz
50%
50%
Kruz,
User Rank: Light Sabre
6/16/2014 | 4:21:20 AM
Re: China Smartphone Star Eyes US Market
Innovation driven by a customer experience feedback, a nice model to push.

I hope Xiaomi will be able to find itself a place in times where big players are struggling to grab a tiny market share.
danielcawrey
50%
50%
danielcawrey,
User Rank: Light Sabre
6/15/2014 | 2:30:33 PM
Re: China Smartphone Star Eyes US Market
I welcome Xiaomi coming to the United States. Consumers need to have options, and Android versus iPhone is simply not enough in my estimation. 

Those two platforms need a third player to keep competition at world-class levels. We can expect Blackberry or Microsoft to step up, but a new disputer might be capable of doing so. 
DHagar
50%
50%
DHagar,
User Rank: Light Sabre
6/13/2014 | 7:50:55 PM
Re: China Smartphone Star Eyes US Market
Robert, incredible!  It sounds as if they have taken the Apple phenomenon to a new high.

Not only the changes and the adapability, but the hype they appear to be generating appears to be creating a "cult" following, along with the multiple products they are offering.

Does sound like a great business opportunity,
From The Founder
The independent evaluation of Nokia's key virtual network functions (VNFs) was a defining moment for the Finnish giant.
Flash Poll
Live Streaming Video
Charting the CSP’s Future
Six different communications service providers join to debate their visions of the future CSP, following a landmark presentation from AT&T on its massive virtualization efforts and a look back on where the telecom industry has been and where it’s going from two industry veterans.
LRTV Custom TV
Cisco's Innovations in Cable

5|26|16   |   03:18   |   (0) comments


Marc Aldrich from Cisco discusses the latest in security, the evolution and momentum for CCAP and what the industry will be seeing next from Cisco.
LRTV Documentaries
Leading Lights 2016 Highlights

5|25|16   |   02:26   |   (1) comment


Some of the high points from this year's Leading Lights awards dinner at the Hotel Ella in Austin, Texas.
LRTV Documentaries
Light Reading Hall of Fame 2016

5|23|16   |   05:43   |   (0) comments


Find out who has been welcomed into Light Reading's Hall of Fame this year.
LRTV Custom TV
ZTE TM Forum Highlights

5|23|16   |     |   (0) comments


ZTE showcased its new ICT solutions at TM Forum in Nice.
LRTV Interviews
Gamma's MD on the Emergence of UC2

5|20|16   |     |   (0) comments


Gamma Communications Managing Director David Macfarlane believes the unified communications (UC) market has reached a tipping point.
LRTV Custom TV
The Ultimate 5-Minute Guide to Digital Customer Engagement

5|20|16   |     |   (0) comments


In this short video, you will hear all about how Digital Customer Engagement is the key to meeting customer expectations, keeping them happy, and maximizing revenue. VP Product & Marketing at Pontis, Ofer Razon, breaks down for us the five essential capabilities for successful Digital Customer Engagement. Don’t miss!
LRTV Custom TV
NFV in 2016: Part 1 – NFV Use Cases Get Real

5|19|16   |   05:57   |   (0) comments


Consensus is building around the key use cases for NFV, including managed IP services at the network edge and on customer premises, which can generate new revenues from enterprises/SMBs and consumers; Evolved Packet Core to support LTE migration; and adjacent technologies, such as TAS and IMS, to support VoLTE and next-generation charging and policy control ...
LRTV Custom TV
Nokia's Steve Vogelsang on NFV – Part 3

5|19|16   |     |   (0) comments


Steve Vogelsang discusses the challenges of operational transformation and how Nokia helps its customers. Join Steve at the Big Communications Event in Austin the morning of May 24, on his keynote and optical networking panel.
LRTV Interviews
Level 3: Why UC Is In Demand

5|17|16   |   04:12   |   (1) comment


Andrew Edison, Level 3's senior VP of sales, EMEA region, talks about the drivers of growth in the unified communications services market.
LRTV Custom TV
ARM's OPNFV Action

5|17|16   |     |   (0) comments


At the ARM booth at MWC 2016, Joe Kidder and Bob Monkman speak to Light Reading about OPNFV and their upcoming action.
LRTV Custom TV
Nokia's Steve Vogelsang on NFV – Part 2

5|16|16   |     |   (0) comments


Steve Vogelsang gives advice to service providers on how to move to NFV. Join Steve at the Big Communications Event in Austin the morning of May 24, on his keynote and optical networking panel.
LRTV Interviews
Interoute CTO on NFV's Maturity

5|13|16   |   06:46   |   (1) comment


Matt Finnie, CTO at international operator Interoute, explains how NFV has made life easier in terms of logistics and how Interoute can now enable a 'software-defined moment' for its customers.
Upcoming Live Events
September 13-14, 2016, The Curtis Hotel, Denver, CO
December 6-8, 2016,
June 16-18, 2017, Austin Convention Center, Austin, TX
All Upcoming Live Events
Infographics
A new survey conducted by Heavy Reading and TM Forum shows that CSPs around the world see the move to digital operations as a necessary part of their overall virtualization strategies.
Hot Topics
DT: Telcos Must Escape Vendor Prison
Iain Morris, News Editor, 5/24/2016
AT&T to Start 5G 'Friendly' Trial by 2016 End
Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, 5/24/2016
Cisco's Patel Hails 'Microculture' Successes
Iain Morris, News Editor, 5/26/2016
AT&T's Margaret Chiosi Retires
Ray Le Maistre, Editor-in-chief, 5/25/2016
Cable Is Eyeing Its Retail Options
Mari Silbey, Senior Editor, Cable/Video, 5/25/2016
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed
BETWEEN THE CEOs - Executive Interviews
In this latest installment of the CEO Chat series, Craig Labovitz, co-founder and CEO of Deepfield, sits down with Light Reading's Steve Saunders in Light Reading's New York City office to discuss how Deepfield fits in with the big data trend and more.
Grant van Rooyen, president and CEO of Cologix, sits down with Steve Saunders, founder and CEO of Light Reading, in the vendor's New Jersey facility to offer an inside look at the company's success story and discuss the importance of security in the telecom industry.
Animals with Phones
Live Digital Audio

Our world has evolved through innovation from the Industrial Revolution of the 1740s to the information age, and it is now entering the Fourth Industrial Revolution, driven by technology. Technology is driving a paradigm shift in the way digital solutions deliver a connected world, changing the way we live, communicate and provide solutions. It can have a powerful impact on how we tackle some of the world’s most pressing problems. In this radio show, Caroline Dowling, President of Communications Infrastructure & Enterprise Computing at Flex, will join Women in Comms Director Sarah Thomas to discuss the impact technology has on society and how it can be a game-changer across the globe; improving lives and creating a smarter world. Dowling, a Cork, Ireland, native and graduate of Harvard Business School's Advanced Management Program, will also discuss her experience managing an international team focused on innovation in an age of high-speed change.