China's Xiaomi targets ten markets in international expansion

Xiaomi has quickly risen to become one of the hottest smartphone vendors in China

Former Google executive Hugo Barra at Thursday's Xiaomi event

Former Google executive Hugo Barra at Thursday's Xiaomi event

Chinese smartphone maker Xiaomi plans to enter ten foreign markets later this year, including Brazil, Mexico and Russia, in a bid to expand globally with its low-cost but cutting-edge phones.

Having risen to become a top smartphone maker in its home market, Xiaomi has already begun selling phones in Singapore, and plans to also enter five other Southeast Asian markets including Malaysia, Indonesia, and Thailand later this year, it said Wednesday.

In addition, Xiaomi is targeting the Indian and Turkish markets.

Last year, the smartphone company hired former Google executive Hugo Barra to help lead its international expansion. It also recently changed its company website address to mi.com to reflect its new international profile. The new name cost Xiaomi US$3.6 million to acquire, company president Lin Bin said in a posting on Chinese social networking site Sina Weibo.

Driving much of Xiaomi's success have been the low prices of its phones, according to analysts. The company markets its phones with cutting-edge specs, but to set them apart from other high-end phones, it prices its handsets at only slightly above what it costs to make them.

For example, Xiaomi has begun selling a new 5.5-inch phone, called the Hongmi Note, for 799 yuan (US$129) without carrier subsidies. It has an eight-core 1.4GHz processor from MediaTek, a 13-megapixel rear-facing camera, and a 3200 mAh battery.

To further reduce costs, Xiaomi has shunned traditional ways of selling phones using physical stores and commercial ads. Instead, the company mainly sells its phones online, and has cultivated a growing fan base to help promote its products. It hopes to eventually sell software and virtual goods on its devices as a way to raise more revenue.

The business model has shaken up the Chinese smartphone market, putting pressure on other vendors such as ZTE and Huawei to also offer more affordable high-end phones, said Ryan Lai, an analyst with research firm IDC.

"It's definitely disrupting everyone," he said. "Now consumers expect phones with high-end specs at low prices."

Xiaomi plans to adopt the same business model to target foreign markets, Barra said earlier this month at the China 2.0 Forum in Beijing. To help build its fan base, Xiaomi updates the Android software features on its phones each week, using inputs from customers.

Barra added that he believes Xiaomi's model could end up disrupting the traditional ways smartphones are sold across the world.

"We are taking a very different approach in designing, manufacturing and selling, which I think can have an impact," he said. "But we are just getting started."

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection

Tags Xiaomidistributionconsumer electronicsAndroidsmartphones

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Michael Kan

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

George Khoury

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic

David Coyle

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

I rate the printer as a 5 out of 5 stars as it has been able to fit seamlessly into my busy and mobile lifestyle.

Kurt Hegetschweiler

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

It’s perfect for mobile workers. Just take it out — it’s small enough to sit anywhere — turn it on, load a sheet of paper, and start printing.

Matthew Stivala

HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer

The HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer is a great device that fits perfectly into my fast paced and mobile lifestyle. My first impression of the printer itself was how incredibly compact and sleek the device was.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?