Xiaomi: 5 things you didn’t know about the Apple of the East
Once the third largest smartphone manufacturer in the world, Xiaomi was founded in 2010. Its biggest markets are China and India, where the company overtook Samsung at the beginning of the year, becoming the highest selling brand in the country.
Xiaomi is often referred to as the Apple of the East, mainly because its products resemble those of the iPhone maker. Even its MIUI Android skin feels like iOS, which is good or bad depending on who you ask.
Here a few interesting things about Xiaomi you may not know.
Xiaomi holds a Guinness World Record
In 2015, Xiaomi set a new Guinness World Record for selling the most smartphones on a single platform in 24 hours. The company offered various discounts during its annual fan festival and sold exactly 2,112,010 units on its website. Impressive!
The previous record was held by Alibaba’s Tmall, which sold 1,894,867 handsets in 2014 over the course of 24 hours.
In addition to smartphones, Xiaomi also sold 770,000 smart appliances, 247,000 power strips, 208,000 Mi Band fitness trackers, and 38,000 smart TVs — none of that was record-breaking, though. It generated 2.08 billion yuan in revenue(~$420 million). Not bad for a day’s work.
Xiaomi has limited its profit margin to 5% — forever
Xiaomi’s CEO, Lei Jun, announced in April that the company will permanently limit the profit margin earned from hardware sales to a maximum of five percent after tax. This applies to Xiaomi’s entire product lineup — from smartphones to lifestyle products.
This means the Chinese manufacturer will not follow in the footsteps of companies like OnePlus that increase pricing almost on a yearly basis. Xiaomi’s products will always offer great value for money, which is fantastic news for consumers.
Xiaomi's business model relies heavily on after-sale purchases.
Xiaomi limited its profit margin because its business model relies heavily on after-sale purchases like accessories and content from its digital store. To increase sales of these items, the company has to sell as many smartphones as possible. Keeping prices low is the best way to do that.
Xiaomi paid $3.6 million for a domain name
Xiaomi bought mi.com for $3.6 million in 2014, replacing Xiaomi.com as its official website. The company made expensive purchase because it wanted to expand into markets outside China, where people have trouble pronouncing Xiaomi.
Read next: These are the best Xiaomi phones
Pronouncing “mi” is a lot easier for most people. It’s also easier to remember, which is important for a company that sells most of its products through its own website. If Xiaomi gave this more thought back in 2010, it would have saved a ton of money.
Mi.com was the most expensive domain of the year at the time of purchase. If you’re wondering, the most expensive domain sold to date is apparently insurance.com, which sold for a whopping $35.6 million, almost 10 times more than Mi.com.
Xiaomi’s logo has a secret meaning
Xiaomi’s logo may look simple, but there’s more to it than meets the eye. When turned upside down, the logo looks almost identical to a Chinese character that means heart. I could find out whether this is intentional or just a coincidence. Either way, it’s kind of cool.
The Mi in Xiaomi’s logo means ‘Mobile Internet’ and ‘Mission Impossible.’
The Mi in Xiaomi’s logo stands for “Mobile Internet.” Xiaomi claims it has other meanings as well, with one of them being “Mission Impossible,” referring to the challenges the company faced in its early days.
The easiest way to pronounce the company’s name is to say “shout me,” without the “t.”
Bonus fact: the literal translation of Xiaomi is “little rice.”
Xiaomi has a few weird products in its lineup
The company also makes fitness trackers, drones, smart light bulbs, robot vacuum cleaners, and power banks. Let’s not forget about security cameras, media streaming devices, and even smart running shoes. It even sells a cool electric scooter with a portable design and around an 18-mile range.
None of those seem all that strange coming from a tech company, but things get weird further down Xiaomi’s list of products. The company also makes rice cookers, electric toothbrushes, travel pillows, suitcases, mattresses, and — wait for it — pens. Not high-tech pens like the one you get with the Galaxy Note 8 — just regular everyday pens. There’s nothing wrong with that, it’s just not something people would generally expect from a company nicknamed Apple of the East.
These are a few of our favorite less-known facts about Xiaomi. Do you know any others? Share them with us in the comments below!