On Chinese social media platform Weibo, Xiaomi’s chief executive Lei Jun announced that the company will focus on the high-end segment of the global smartphone market in an effort to compete with Apple directly. Before being forced to withdraw from the U.S. market, Huawei was China’s largest smartphone vendor. Xiaomi plans to become the world’s largest smartphone vendor within three years, according to Lei.
We hope to become China’s biggest high-end brand and fully benchmark with Apple by the end of the next three years. He also described competition with Apple in the high-end smartphone segment as a “war of life and death” that Xiaomi must overcome.
For the first time in six years, Apple overtook Vivo to become the top smartphone brand in China in the fourth quarter of 2021. In the meantime, Apple became the world’s leading smartphone vendor, with one in five smartphones sold being an iPhone.
Xiaomi, like many companies, has struggled with supply chain issues over the past two years, which has prevented the company from expanding. In the second quarter of 2021, Xiaomi briefly surpassed Apple’s iPhone sales for the first time.
Xiaomi reportedly aims to capture more customers by distinguishing itself from other major Chinese Android smartphone manufacturers that are also going after Apple’s lucrative high-end segment. As part of this, the company will open 20,000 new stores in China over the next three years and its existing 10,000 stores in the country. Additionally, the company is investing almost $16 billion in research and development over the next five years.