Apple iPhone knockoff peddler Xiaomi will ratchet up its challenge to Apple by focusing on the high-end segment of the global smartphone market, according to the Chinese company’s founder and chief executive Lei Jun who also vows to roll out 20,000 new retail stores over the next three years across China.
“[We aim to] fully benchmark against Apple in [terms of] product and experience, and become China’s biggest high-end brand in the next three years,” Lei said in a post on microblogging platform Weibo on Tuesday, as he reiterated the company’s strategic goal to develop into the world’s largest smartphone vendor in the same period.
Lei’s post, published the same day the Beijing-based company’s management had their first strategic meeting after the Lunar New Year break, described competition in the high-end smartphone arena as “a war of life and death”, which Xiaomi must overcome to continue growing.
Apple unseated Samsung Electronics to become the world’s top smartphone vendor in the fourth quarter last year, seizing a 22 per cent global market share on the back of strong demand for its iPhone 13 line, according to a report published last month by Canalys. The independent analyst firm said Chinese Android smartphone vendors Xiaomi, Oppo and Vivo rounded out the global top five ranking last quarter.
In November, Xiaomi announced an ambitious retail infrastructure programme that will see it roll out 20,000 new retail stores over the next three years across China’s countryside, the area which accounts for 70 per cent of the domestic smartphone market. It currently operates a network of more than 10,000 bricks-and-mortar stores across the country.
MacDailyNews Take: Thinking customers want real iPhones. 20,000 more shoebox-sized Apple Retail Store knockoffs peddling yet another Apple iPhone knockoff on every street corner in China aren’t going to change that fact, Huawei, er, Xiaomi.
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