I am not sure if being called the new "Steve Jobs" or the "Apple of China" is a compliment or not, however, that is exactly what founder and CEO Lei Jun and Xiaomi are being referred to as. When asked about the comparisons, Lei Jun said that he would like Xiaomi to be known as the "Amazon of China" – selling directly to the customer, value for your purchase and most importantly, make your real money on support services. Whatever they are likened to or whatever they are called, their formula seems to be working. After being founded in just 2010, Xiaomi is one of China's biggest electronics companies – they are now producing smartphones, tablets and power banks – so why not move on into the wearables field.
Analysts are predicting that wearables will be the hot topic for the near future – Samsung has already produced several, and now with Android Wear from Google, Samsung added the Gear Live, LG already released their G Watch, and soon Motorola will join the crowd with its Moto 360. Those devices are a smartwatch that happens to include a few functions of a smart band or smart bracelet – much like the Fitbit Flex, UP24 by Jawbone, Nordic Track iFit or Samsung's Gear Fit. This is where Xiaomi will focus their attention, on a MiBand, as seen being worn around town by CEO Lei Jun.
Not much is known at this time about the MiBand, except that it is rumored to cost around $32 – making it one of the best values for the money…that is what Xiaomi is known for in their smartphones. Without good software, the MiBand will not make much of an impact even at only $32 – however, Xiaomi is known for their excellent MIUI skin on top of Android on their smartphones. The MiBand will not be an Android Wear type operating system, but something that is strictly their own design and is said to offer a standard set of features, such as, activity tracking and notifications.
While Xiaomi is not a well-known brand much outside of China, they hired Hugo Barra away from Google, to help them expand into other countries. They have begun spreading out this year and are expecting to make their presence known in the U.S. in 2015. If they continue to offer high quality value, they should find a marketplace in the U.S. and beyond.
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