Xiaomi:A brief history of “Chinese Apple”
Xiaomi-The story of the fastest growing smartphone company.
We all love Xiaomi. The reason for that may be different for each of us.For some, it may be the resemblance of UI with Apple’s iOS, or may be the budget phone factor, or the incredible design of the products.
How did Xiaomi(or Mi) became the one of the world’s most favourite smartphone brand from being just another Apple clone? It’s innovation, folks. Let me take you through the milestones of Xiaomi.
Xiaomi was also nicknamed “Chinese Apple” because of the similarity in UI & design of the smartphones.
It was in April 2010 that Xiaomi Mobile Communications became a company, founded by Lei Jun an ex-Kingsoft engineer. The Mi1 was launched in 2011, shipped with the first version of MIUI OS.
Mi1 could also be installed with AOSP version of Android(this should’ve been done as a fallback option).
Mi2, the successor to Mi1 was launched in 2012 & was powered by a Snapdragon APQ8064 processor coupled with 2GB of RAM. The device sold out like hotcakes due to the cheap price & value for money.
Xiaomi then realised that India was the best market to expand its global reach. With this intentions, the company entered India with Mi3, which was sold through Flipkart Flash Sales and the website crashed due the overwhelming demand for the Mi3.
The company also has an ultra low budget series smartphones called as Redmi. Its success lies in the underlying hardware & the reasonable price they’re asking for the smartphone- you can’t complain at this price point.
The Redmi series as of now has 10 phones which are: Redmi 1S,Redmi 2,Redmi 3,Redmi Note,Redmi Note 2,Redmi Note Prime,Redmi Note 2 Prime,Redmi Note 3 & Redmi Note 4G.
One of the main reasons of the sucess of its homebrew OS-MIUI is the updates.While OEMs hardly bother to provide software updates to user, Mi has a built-in bug report & feature request app from which users can report bugs & ask for new features.
Xiaomi is, in my experience keenly keeping a watch on its developer forums,bug reports & rectifiying problems with timely software updates.Sometimes, you get more than 4 software update OTAs in a single month!
All Mi phones have their customised AppStore called Mi Store & some of the phone features requires an Mi account. The MIUI operating system based on Android is now the most easy to use Android custom version in the world. The MIUI is now in its 8th version.
Xiaomi launched Mi4 in the same way as the previous versions were launched, and the only place where you could get it outside China was in India.
But then, they dropped a bomb with the launch of the Mi4i which was the first Mi phone to be launched first outside China.Xiaomi Global CEO Hugo Barra introduced the phone to the audience. The grand event took place in New Delhi. The Mi4i, with its smooth MIUI ROM was an absolute pleasure(I own one).
The Mi 5 launched this year is an excellent example of how to make a great smartphone at a reasonably low price. It features a Qualcomm MSM8996 Snapdragon 820 Chipset & 3-4 GB of RAM, a 16MP Rear Camera & Adreno 530 GPU.
Xiaomi also manufactures Mi Band their fitness band & Mi Piston series earphones. They’ve recently launched Mi Notebook Air which is their answer to Apple Macbook Air(the similarity in name says it).
The hopes are all high for Xiaomi, and I’m sure they’re gonna make it big!