Four-year-old Chinese smart phone manufacturer Xiaomi does not offer too many new features, but for 80RMB customers can purchase the company’s first wearable tech. CEO Lei Jun made the announcement of the Xiaomi Mi Band on July 22.
The announcement came about two weeks before yesterday’s news of Samsung and Apple’s mutual decisions to drop all patent lawsuits against each other outside the United States. Xiaomi and its 1,141 patents (ZTE Corp holds 55,728 patents) has become one of the go-to brands for China’s modern, utilitarian consumers. In a legendary post from a Dianping user, a response to a 2012 Southern Metropolitan Daily post titled “Hierarchies of Snobbery”, “Xiaomi” ranked third in the “cell phones” category behind “Blackberry” and “Apple.” “Samsung” ranked fifth behind “HTC” and “ZTE” ranked 10th, only beating “shanzai mobile phones.”
Shanghai’s China Business News suggests that Chinese smart phone manufacturers’ overseas market offering intentions are hampered by the over-reliance on e-commerce sites instead of mobile carriers (in the United States, the majority of customers go to a retail store to buy smart phones, and avoid buying online).
Although Xiaomi has not released its overseas intentions for the Xiaomi Mi Band, its failed efforts to get equipment certified in growing BRICS markets in Indonesia and Brazil also portend problems with a push abroad.
By Max Pozel