Which company makes Xiaomi phones

Xiaomi starts in Germany: the Chinese tech company under the microscope

With the “Mi 9T Pro” smartphone, Xiaomi is really taking off in Germany for the first time. But what is the Chinese tech company doing and how is it financed? Let's take a closer look at the group's portrait.

There is currently a lot of talk on the Internet about Xiaomi, the Chinese smartphone manufacturer and competitor of Huawei. Because the company is actually mainly concentrating on the Chinese market, but is now also launching its first smartphone in Germany with the Mi 9T Pro.

The Mi 9T Pro should be interesting for many people, because it is very well equipped and still only costs around 450 euros.

That is exactly what Xiaomi stands for: high-end smartphones with an unbeatable price-performance ratio. And especially in times when Apple seems to be weak, the company should have very good chances with its products on the German market.

For the official Germany launch, we want to take a closer look at Xiaomi.

Xiaomi: Started small

Xiaomi was founded in April 2010 by the Chinese billionaire and entrepreneur Lei Jun. The company name translates as millet, which in a figurative sense means that the company started small. It is pronounced roughly "Sch (i) au-mie".

The company had already made it to the top of the smartphone manufacturer within a few years and even left its major competitor Huawei behind in December 2013. At that time, Xiaomi briefly advanced to become the market leader in China.

How was that possible? As I said, Xiaomi produces smartphones with an outstanding price-performance ratio. The devices have high-end components from various manufacturers. The processors also come from Qualcomm - one of Xiaomi's first investors.

The smartphones contain an adapted version of the Android operating system. This contains an in-house developed MIUI interface that is above the normal user interface.

MIUI stands for Mobile Internet User Interface. Xiaomi smartphones therefore have their own style and additional functions.

The rapid ascent

Xiaomi first made a name for itself in August 2011 when the company presented its first smartphone: the Mi 1 - equipped with a four-inch display, an eight-megapixel camera and Android 2.3 with the MIUI V 2.3 user interface.

Just a year later, the successor Mi 2 appeared, of which Xiaomi had sold over ten million units by September 2013. That year, the company was named the World's Most Valuable Startup, valued at $ 45 billion.

As early as October 2014, the company advanced to become the third largest smartphone manufacturer in the world, following three-digit growth rates. According to CEO Jun, Xiaomi sold just over 61 million phones at the time. This corresponds to an increase of 227 percent compared to the previous year.

In 2015, the company even sold 71 million smartphones. However, Jun had expected sales of 100 million devices. Xiaomi no longer grew as rapidly as in previous years.

But that wasn't too tragic at all. Because as much as it seems up to this point that the company would focus on smartphones, Xiaomi does not generate most of the money with their sale.

Xiaomi: The Amazon-Apple-Google hybrid

In an interview, Jun told the news site Reuters once, Xiaomi is a mixture of a large part of Amazon with a little less Apple and Google.

The company primarily earns its money with services for which smartphones are just the ticket. And the attraction behind it is called MIUI.

More than 40 applications and services from Xiaomi run on the operating system, one of the most important is the in-house app store Mimarket. 2013 reported Techcrunchthat users have downloaded over a billion Mimarket applications this year.

The crazy Xiaomi world

In addition, the Chinese group also sells completely different products: In China there are a whole range of crazy devices that do not make it to Europe at all or only indirectly.

Do-it-yourselfers and technology enthusiasts get their money's worth, for example, with a cordless screwdriver including a USB connection. There is a miniature tank that can be controlled with a smartphone, as well as a cup that cannot fall over and an intelligent trash can that can open itself.

But of course there are also less fancy products such as tablets and notebooks, smart home devices, fitness bands, headphones, speakers and much more.

Xiaomi starts with the Mi 9T Pro in Germany

Now, in November 2017, Xiaomi also started selling smartphones in Spain and later in other European countries. Of course, German retailers such as Media Markt, Saturn and Amazon also had it easier to sell Xiaomi smartphones in Germany.

However, these devices were imported from Europe and never actually intended for the German market. But that is changing right now, because Jun is planning a major Germany offensive.

The Mi 9T Pro is the first smartphone that Xiaomi is officially selling in this country. It is available through Amazon * as an exclusive online partner, but will later also be available from other retailers.

The first 3,000 pieces were available at the early bird price of a little under 400 euros. This briefly catapulted the Mi 9T Pro to number one among the smartphone bestsellers on Amazon. In the meantime, the phone is available at the regular price of 450 euros, but also comparatively cheaply.

Data protection and data safety

The price-performance ratio is unbeatable with Xiaomi. But what about data protection? The company has been criticized in the past for collecting personal data and automatically transmitting it to Chinese servers.

In July 2014, for example, it became known that smartphones from the Redmi Note series send personal data such as photos, SMS and e-mails as long as they are connected via WiFi. Users were not notified of this and could not decide whether they consent to the data transfers. Communication between the servers could not be deactivated either.

As a result, Xiaomi released an update a month later that offered users the choice of accepting or rejecting the cloud messaging system.

In addition, users of earlier Xiaomi smartphones repeatedly received notifications about advertisements that could not be switched off because, according to their own statements, they financed their own apps.

The developer community XDA but already reported that Xiaomi wants to reduce advertising that disrupts the user experience.

That being said, there has not yet been a major breach of trust between Xiaomi and its users.

Own branch in Düsseldorf

Xiaomi is currently the fourth largest smartphone manufacturer behind Samsung, Huawei and Apple. And now the company is planning according to thatHandelsblattalso to open his own office in Düsseldorf and to expand his business in Germany on a large scale. Own stores are also to be added.

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And in addition to the partnership with Amazon, the company also cooperates with the mobile communications group Freenet and sells its products through Media Markt and Saturn.

The Mi 9T Pro should not remain the only official product in Germany: Jun would like to release more devices in this country. It remains to be seen whether these will also be products from other categories in addition to smartphones.

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