Hugo Barra, former Android chief, now works at Xiaomi. Photo: Xiaomi
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 is still king in market share. Photo: Google
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.
iOS is a fantastic platform, but as it approaches its sixth birthday, it’s in desperate need of a lick of paint. If you jailbreak your devices, then you don’t need to sit and wait for Apple to administer that, because you can take the design refresh into your own hands by theming.
The only issue with that is finding a theme that’s as beautiful as the hardware it’s running on. There aren’t many out there that fit this description, but iMIUI from Xiaomi is one of them.