When we talk about Chinese manufacturers that are fast growing, it’s tough to find one growing faster than Xiaomi. The company only just became a company 5 years ago, in 2010 and is already one of the top 5 manufacturers in the world depending on what source you use to get the market share. They are growing at an incredible rate. Over here in the western part of the world, many of us hadn’t heard of Xiaomi, unless you are really into the industry, until Xiaomi picked up Hugo Barra, the former VP at Google and part of the Android team. That announcement sent shockwaves around the world, and made everyone wonder what is Xiaomi.
Xiaomi, like many other smartphone makers in China, get accused of making iPhone clones. I would urge you to try out one of their phones though. While in their early days, they did make phones that looked a lot like the iPhone, their events were even very similar to Apple’s, with Bin Lin even coming out in jeans a black turtle neck like the late Steve Jobs. As well as doing the “one more thing”. That’s all changed now, and their recent smartphones may look like an iPhone from the distance, but try one out, and you’ll see it’s nothing like the iPhone. Other than maybe the missing app drawer in MIUI. Many of us think of smartphones when we think of Xiaomi. In February, Xiaomi held a fireside chat with the US media in San Francisco. Where they showed off a number of products, that were not smartphones. Including the Mi Power Bank, Mi Headphones, the Mi Band and a few other products. While Xiaomi is known for smartphones, they are far from a smartphone vendor.
Our Reviews Editor, Nick, has his hands on one of their cameras, the XiaoYi Ants Smart Cam, which is like the new Nest Cam that was announced a few months ago. They also have their own version of the GoPro, as well as air purifiers which are pretty popular in China. They also make fitness bands, headphones, and so many other products. It’s really crazy to wrap your head around everything that the company makes. Xiaomi isn’t quite selling all of their products here in the US, phones aren’t here due to regulatory issues. But they are selling the Mi Band, Mi Headphones and a few other products on their Mi.com website. It’s the first step to expanding outside of Asia, and even Europe to an extent. When Xiaomi is finally able to sell their devices here in North America, their competitors are going to be worried.