Hugo Barra tells CNN’s Will Ripley that Xiaomi’s new smartphone will silence critics who dismiss the Chinese tech company as an imitation of Apple.
If Xiaomi can sell it’s smartphone in the US, you’ll be able to use a phone with Android that looks like an Apple iPhone. However, that’s probably not the cheap knockoff concept that Xiaomi has in mind.
After selling its first phone in 2011, Xiaomi trails first place Samsung and second place Apple as the third largest manufacture of smart phones. According to IDC, Xiaomi moved into the top 5 list for the first time at the number 3 position following its focus on China and adjacent markets, which resulted in triple-digit year-over-year growth. The Mi4 smartphone introduction in August was key to Xiaomi’s success.
The Chinese company’s flagship Mi devices typically retail off-contract for about $300, compared to Apple iPhones, which can sell off contract for $600 or more.
Xiaomi plans to move beyond its local market in China, but so far it is unclear if the smartphone will be available in the United States. Xiaomi hired key executives from Google, such as Brazilian vice president of Android, Hugo Barra, who is now Xiaomi’s head of international sales. Barra earned several Bachelor of Science degrees from MIT in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science (EECS) and Management Science, as well as a minor in Economics and holds a Masters in Engineering degree in EECS. Barra left Google in September 2013 after serving several roles for the Android team. He was involved in several Android Operating System launches, smartphone launches, and other Google product launches
The phone runs on Xiaomi’s implementation of the Android operating system. The user interface of MIUI is similar to Apple’s iOS and Samsung’s TouchWiz. The hardware looks remarkably like an Apple iPhone 6 or iPhone 6 plus.
While some criticize the company for “copycat” operations that mimic Apple, others are hoping the less expensive phones will be available in the United States. Xiaomi’s uprising has led to online arguments with comments criticizing Apple for their high prices and market control, and responses criticizing Xaiomi’s aping of Apple.
A commercial from Xiaomi pokes fun at Apple’s iPhone 6 and uses a frying pan to flatten down the protruding camera. The frying pan act is made to look like a magical conversion of the Apple iPhone into a Xiaomi MINote.
A patent dispute with Swedish telecoms company Ericsson has blocked the third highest-selling smartphone manufacturer from sales in India — the third largest smartphone market.
India has also recently warned its military not to use the Chinese smartphones over fears of data snooping. Xiaomi has stated that it never collects user data without permission.
Hugo Barra on latest Xiaomi products. Notice at the video’s beginning how Xiaomi CEO Lei Jun is dressed like Steve Jobs during a product intro, and how the stage design is similar to Apple’s product intros.
MIUI v6 OS brings with it a lot of features and optimizations, shown in this video using older Xiaomi Mi3 or Mi4 phones.
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