Xiaomi's Hugo Barra says Apple is 'extraordinary', details the Mi brand expansion plans


Xiaomi really scored with poaching Hugo Barra from Google, it seems, as the outspoken exec is hard at work not only as the Mi brand ambassador, but is actually tasked with setting an outpost for Xiaomi's products in the world's second most-populous gadget market. Currently in Bangalore, Mr Barra sat down for an interview, and detailed how they are starting up small in India, and intend to ramp up sales in a way that has brought Xiaomi an incredible success in the homeland of China.

There, Xiaomi will soon be the second largest e-tailer in the country, passing JD.com, just from selling Mi products directly to consumers. This is a huge achievement, and Xiaomi is not to be underestimated by the big brands. Last year, the company hauled in $566 million in net profit, and is projected to surpass a billion in profit this year. For comparison, only Apple and Samsung are making more money, while LG, Sony, HTC and others can only dream of Xiaomi's profits. The Mi brand of mobile devices propelled Xiaomi to the world's fourth-largest phone maker status, which is an incredible feat for a company that started selling phones just three or so years ago.

How does Xiaomi do it, if it manages to keep prices so low? Well, Hugo Barra disclosed that they usually start selling their devices around cost, but they have a comparatively long shelf life, so when the components' prices eventually go down, Xiaomi manages to set on a healthy margin, and it shows in the bottom line. As for the claims that the company is mimicking Apple, Hugo Barra again disclosed that he thinks Apple is an "extraordinary" company, and a source for inspiration indeed. If his Mi brand undertaking in India really takes off, Xiaomi might start to breathe in the neck of the third- and second-largest phone makers, and Samsung should definitely take notice, too.

source: Quartz

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26 Comments

1. darkkjedii

Posts: 31337; Member since: Feb 05, 2011

This'll be interesting.

22. joey_sfb

Posts: 6794; Member since: Mar 29, 2012

Lenovo is going to setup a separate company that uses XiaoMi direct sales model. Which is the customer order online and the product get shipped directly to them from the factory. This cut out the middle man. Without much advertise cost they can give better spec to their consumer and till make a good profit. I support this model because it directly benefit me as a consumer. I admit it will offend a lot of middle man and advertising companies.

26. chocolaking

Posts: 495; Member since: May 22, 2012

xiaomi is garbage.

2. Chuck007

Posts: 1411; Member since: Mar 02, 2014

Dude gotta be paid a heck a lot of money lol

18. afraaa

Posts: 138; Member since: Oct 23, 2014

indeeed

3. boosook

Posts: 1442; Member since: Nov 19, 2012

That's probably the reason why Google fired him! :) BTW, now we're waiting for his coming out... ;)

4. PhoneCritic

Posts: 1354; Member since: Oct 05, 2011

"What goes around comes around" this is a hard lesson that all multinational American companies like, Cisco, Google, Apple, IBM,Samsung,Mircrosoft,Ford, GM, etc. will learn. When you take American manufacturing jobs, and move them, abroad to get cheaper labor do not be surprised when the abroad nation copies your technology and sells it back to Americans and the rest of the world at half the cost. There goes the cost cutting profits from cheap labor. Now your CEO, COO, CIO etc. wont get their billion dollar paychecks anymore so lets start cutting workers as we have to lower our prices to compete with the flood of cheaper priced deices coming form abroad. "Why won't Americans buy our more costly devices? Oh yeah, we laid them off when we moved their Jobs abroad they can't afford to buy our over prices stuff they can only buy the cheaper imported stuff. " Wow how "the roosters have come home to crow"

10. androiphone20

Posts: 1654; Member since: Jul 10, 2013

Did you just call Samsung an American company? Also, it's *Microsoft genius

13. PhoneCritic

Posts: 1354; Member since: Oct 05, 2011

My Bad - Samsung is not an American company but being that they also outsource manufacturing it is also coming back to bite them as well. As for Microsoft I fat fingered it while typing on my phones keyboard. One thing I must give Samsung credit for is that they opened a Manufacturing plant in America where they hired local American workers to produce their chips. I think that was a fair move if your going to sell a product that targets Americans why not built a small amount of (not all) it in America? Let American workers have a decent Jobs so that the can in turn buy products and support you as a manufacture. This is why I have no sympathy for companies that outsource every tiny component off shore. Not one thing part built in America? But you want to sell it to American who have no jobs because you decided to outsource it to another nation. Where is the logic in that? Sorry about the rant it Just I feel that all these companies are so hypocritical. I just hope that don't come looking for Bailouts.

20. corporateJP

Posts: 2458; Member since: Nov 28, 2009

CEO's, CFO's, and all of Wall Street can suck it. Greed tore apart America and there's not much left...

21. JunitoNH

Posts: 1946; Member since: Feb 15, 2012

Nicely said, I've been saying the same for years. Where do you think all the leaks are coming from? Chinese are manufacturing all these devices, you really think they are not going to sell it to the government or foreign entities? Foolish just to save a few dollars.

5. luis.d

Posts: 354; Member since: Dec 04, 2013

Haha, Hugo be like ¯\(°_o)/¯ :D

6. Tziggy14

Posts: 624; Member since: Sep 02, 2014

You know, I'm glad he's no longer part of Google. This idiot's been a secret Apple fanboy since day one. And worse that you're copying their designs.

11. Finalflash

Posts: 4063; Member since: Jul 23, 2013

No he is just towing the company line while PhoneArena is showing how biased they can be by making a headline that literally had all of 5% of the overall content importance. They ignored everything else and just went with the Apple favored (flavored?) headline.

12. androiphone20

Posts: 1654; Member since: Jul 10, 2013

Typical spam blog site, it's even gotten worse lately like this recent headline "Chinese hacker proves iPhone Plus was made for Windows 98," someone is actually paying these 18 yos to post such crap.

17. afraaa

Posts: 138; Member since: Oct 23, 2014

me too , there is no room for ppl who keep telling apple is extra ordinary ! he is actually apple fan boy . hugo apple fan boy .

23. joey_sfb

Posts: 6794; Member since: Mar 29, 2012

Every design is similar to some other design. Only Apple fans has their mind set that Apple is the original inventor in every design. Nobody can reason with a brain washed person. Its like talking to North Korean citizens that their leader is a tyrant.

7. PhoneCritic

Posts: 1354; Member since: Oct 05, 2011

Don't Get me Wrong I do not mean that the stuff from abroad is cheap in the sense that it is badly manufactured or of poor quality on the contrary it is of high quality like we are seeing from Xiaomi and others. I mean in the sense of cost. They are not looking to make huge profits right away but to just get a foot in the door and compete. and compete they can. If I were Apple, Samsung, Microsoft, Google, Cisco, GM, Ford etc. It is time to bring back my manufacturing and innovation back home and my billions I put off shore to America so that I can higher American workers at good salaries who will then take the money I paid them and go out and purchase my product at the high price I set ( since they are getting paid at a higher wage they can afford it). However, it is just to late now and theses companies will have to suffer the consequences of their greed. The Chinese and Indians manufactures are coming and the onslaught is going to be tremendous Apple, Samsung, Sony, HTC, etc. should be "afraid very afraid."

8. haikallp

Posts: 319; Member since: Feb 10, 2012

"So extraordinary we're gonna copy their design in the hopes that we could be as extraordinary too"

16. afraaa

Posts: 138; Member since: Oct 23, 2014

:)))) hahahah yeah

9. gaara6775

Posts: 738; Member since: May 20, 2014

ShuT up guys,he is doing his job. He was a successful VP at Google. Enjoyed his launch events like when they introduced ICS to us or even the nexus 4,5,7 . Don't bash him because xiaomi copies the design from someone else. His job is to handle international trade and expand xiaomi in other countries and he is doing well.

15. afraaa

Posts: 138; Member since: Oct 23, 2014

we don't bash him we insult him ... and u shut the h..ll up

14. afraaa

Posts: 138; Member since: Oct 23, 2014

good u are away from google ... "apple is extraordinary !!!" :)))) we found out why he left google . to copy apple phone with android . google really should stop this companies .

19. Spedez

Posts: 542; Member since: Aug 29, 2014

That guy betrayed Europe and joined the forces to, dare I say with whom.

24. dimas

Posts: 3383; Member since: Jul 22, 2014

Xiaomi don't do massive advertisement. They don't have physical stores and only manufacture limited number of handsets to make sure that there will be less rejects. Apple makes money by getting cheap raw materials from different suppliers in a very low price. After that, they invest on marketing and campaigns, give their handsets beautiful packaging then call it premium to increase the illusion of it's value. It's like selling dog food wrapped in a silver ribbon.

25. laughmi

Posts: 283; Member since: Oct 28, 2014

Xiaomi can be no.1 in India but the thing that it has its weakness is terrible after sales service. This would not allow it to be no.1 since Samsung has good service. But what a display they make. Blows away the iPhone 5s and hits S4.

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