Xiaomi intends to step up its challenge to Apple, the company’s founder announced this week (via South China Morning Post).


Xiaomi founder and chief executive Lei Jun said on Chinese social media platform Weibo that the company will specifically focus on the high-end segment of the global smartphone market in an effort to directly rival Apple, attempting to fill the void left by Huawei. Huawei was previously China’s largest smartphone vendor before being forced to pull out of the U.S. market. Lei explained that Xiaomi seeks to become the world’s largest smartphone vendor within three years.

“[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 added. He went on to describe competition with Apple in the high-end smartphone segment as “a war of life and death” that Xiaomi must overcome.

In the fourth quarter of 2021, Apple overtook Vivo to become the top smartphone brand in China for the first time in six years. Simultaneously, Apple became the leading smartphone vendor in the world, with one in every five smartphones sold being an iPhone.

Like many companies, Xiaomi has struggled with supply chain issues over the past two years, which has hindered the company’s expansion. Nevertheless, in the second quarter of 2021, Apple’s ‌iPhone‌ sales were briefly surpassed by Xiaomi for the first time.

Xiaomi reportedly intends to attract more customers by distinguishing itself from other major Chinese Android smartphone brands that are also targeting Apple’s lucrative high-end segment by focusing on user experience. This will involve opening 20,000 new retail stores in China over the next three years, adding to the 10,000 stores that it currently operates in the country. The company is also investing almost $16 billion in research and development over the next five years.

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