Xiaomi reckons it has been copied more than any other Chinese company, hitting back at accusations that it riffs too closely off of rival designs.
Hugo Barra, Xiaomi’s Vice President of Global Operations, told the BBC that it is a ‘very innovative company.’
“We’ve done a lot of really interest, original things,” said Barra. “We’ve been copied almost more than any other Chinese company.
Barra, who used to work at Google, explained that this was because of how the company operates.
“Particularly given the model that we use to sell, the social media approach, the ecommerce, and so on. Which is not design per se, but is a very important part of our business.”
Xiaomi just launched two new handsets, the Xiaomi Mi Note, and the Mi Note Pro, both of which boast spec sheets rivalling the current roster of top tier handsets.
When asked whether this smartphone duo would make it to the UK or US, Barra replied: “It’s probably gonna be a few years before we reach these tier one markets.”
“Markets in the US and Europe are insanely competitive, and I think we’re not quite at the level where we feel like we’re ready to part of what we’re doing in those markets.”
He continued: “We think that our valued proposition of building very high specification products and selling them almost at cost has a much higher economic and social impact in the developing markets.”
And rightly so – last October saw Xiaomi named the world’s biggest smartphone maker, only ranking behind Samsung and Google.
Barra compared Xiaomi to both of these firms, as well as some others, explaining how the company offers a wide portfolio of services.
“It’s kind of an Amazon-like with a Google-like software company, with an Apple-like and Samsung-like hardware company. Kind of a really interesting amalgamation.”