Short of Samsung, there’s no other company that gets as bad a rap for copying Apple as Xiaomi. The Chinese gadget maker, though, has just beaten Apple to market in at least one category. Although a proper Apple HDTV has been rumored by the likes of Gene Munster for ages, Xiaomi has beaten Cupertino to the punch with a beautiful — and affordable! — Android smart TV.
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Call it a ripoff artist that rides on Apple’s coattails if you want, but Xiaomi continues to go from strength to strength in its position as the world’s third-largest phone manufacturer.
Having recently announced a new valuation of $46 billion — making it the most valuable tech startup in existence — China-based smartphone maker Xiaomi Technology recently announced that its sales revenue leaped up by more than 100 percent in 2014, as the company sold a massive 61.1 million smartphones to customers.
Love it or hate it, those are some pretty big numbers!
The Apple blogosphere was ablaze yesterday with reports that the ripoff artists at Xiaomi had come up with the Chinese company’s most brazen copycat product yet. A supposedly leaked image showed a MacBook Air lookalike that was virtually indistinguishable from Cupertino’s offering with the exception of a Xiaomi logo.
Well, the picture is a fake, according to a Xiaomi representative.
While it’s great to hear that Apple’s intellectual property is upheld in this instance, however, it’s still less than ideal for Xiaomi for one very simple reason: just how believable the rumor was.
Xiaomi just rode Apple’s coattails to the biggest startup valuation in world, but it appears the Chinese smartphone maker is ready to take its copying to new heights by getting into the laptop game with, you guessed it, a MacBook Air knockoff.
Xiaomi is known for “borrowing” many aspects of Apple’s identity, and here’s one more to add to the list: its sky high valuation.
Having just announced the raising of an extra $1.1 billion in funding, Chinese smartphone maker Xiaomi announced on Monday that it is now valued at a whopping $46 billion — making it worth more than any other tech startup.
“This round of funding is an affirmation of Xiaomi’s achievements in more than four years of business and a prelude to a new stage of development,” founder Lei Jun wrote on Monday.
Xiaomi has caught a lot of flack for copying what Apple has done previously, which is why it’s apparently gone back to the drawing board and come back with a new plan: do the things Apple thought about, but didn’t do.
With that in mind, a new report today claims that Xiaomi is set to adopt sapphire displays for its upcoming 5.7-inch Xiaomi 5, to be showcased at the upcoming 2015 Consumer Electronics Show.
The company has reportedly approached the China-based Lens Technology and Biel Crystal Manufactory about expanding their sapphire processing capacities for the job.
Xiaomi has quickly become the world’s third most popular smartphone maker, but according to a 2013 financial filing released by the privately held company, it doesn’t pay to copy your way to the top.
In 2013 Xiaomi made a meager $51 million in profit even though it’s valued at more than $10 billion by investors. The filing reveals Xiaomi’s low profits are on account of the No. 3 smartphone maker’s razor-thin margins. It brought in about $4.2 billion in revenue in 2013, giving the company an operating margin of just 1.8 percent.
Anyone that has ever taken a look at Xiaomi’s suspiciously Apple-like designs won’t be surprised to hear them dismissed as ripoff artists. But a new court ruling suggests they might be patent infringers too.
Delhi High Court in India has banned Xiaomi from selling, assembling, importing and advertising its smartphones in the country, on the basis that the bestselling handsets infringe on certain patents held by another company.
Interestingly, that company isn’t Apple — but rather Ericsson, which claims that Xiaomi violated 8 of its patents, including those related to 3G, EDGE and other technologies.
Android has yet again increased its lead in U.S. market share as its rivals give up precious points, according to the latest data from Kantar WorldPanel. Google’s popular platform now commands an impressive 61.8 percent share of the smartphone market, which is close to double the 32.6 percent now held by iOS.
Interviewed at the recent Vanity Fair Summit, Jony Ive had strong words for companies like Xiaomi producing iPhone copycats.
“I don’t see it as flattery, I see it as theft, and it’s lazy,” he said, when asked about the Chinese smartphone maker whose devices bear something of a striking resemblance to the iPhone.
Responding in an interview with the Economic Times, Xiaomi’s VP for International markets Hugo Barra suggested that it’s unfair to place the blame on Xiaomi — because Apple copies other people too.