Apple has another big competitor to worry about. Chinese phone maker Xiaomi just launched the Xiaomi Note smartphone, which was designed to compete directly with the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus.
A look at the new Xiaomi Note
The phone maker’s chairman, Lei Jun, introduced the new phone, which features a 5.7-inch screen, 13-megapixel rear camera, and curved glass on both front and back sides. It weighs a total of 161 grams and features a super slim design. The Xiaomi Note 16GB version will retail for 2,299 yuan, which is about $372 in U.S. dollars and half the price of the iPhone 6 Plus. The 64GB version will retail for 2,799 yuan.
Xiaomi will also offer a pro version with 4GB of RAM which will cost 3,299 yuan. The pro version will feature a Qualcomm Snapdragon 810 processor. It will also run on Xiaomi’s standard version of the Android operating system. This new phone will also target Samsung’s Galaxy Note phablet line. Brian Ma, analyst for IDC, explained, “Xiaomi ‘going phablet’ with the Note wasn’t a surprise. It was an obvious gap in their portfolio that was only being serviced by a low-end Redmi Note before. High-end users need their phablets too.”
The reason behind the company’s success
Xiaomi is in it to win it. The company is already the largest smartphone maker in China and the third largest in the world. One of the keys to the company’s immense success is that it sells phones at or near cost. One prime example of this is the Mi Note. Although it represents a step up from its budget-friendly line, it still undercuts the competition.
Apple’s Jony Ive is not impressed with Xiaomi’s efforts, and he explained, “I don’t see it as flattery.When you’re doing something for the first time, you don’t know it’s going to work. You spend seven or eight years working on something, and then it’s copied. I have to be honest, the first thing I can think, all those weekends that I could have at home with my family but didn’t. I think it’s theft, and it’s lazy.”
Back in October, Xiaomi’s vice president called the copycat claims overblown.