Earlier this month we posted a report about Apple's iPhone 5S being the number one smartphone in the world. Yet despite its popularity, it wasn't number one in China where they were beat out by Xiaomi's Redmi smartphone model that sells for well under US$200. Out of the top ten smartphones in China, Xiaomi, Apple and Samsung took nine of them. So in China, there's a strong three-way race taking place. Today Xiaomi raised the bar well ahead of Apple's iPhone 6 in order to drive sales their way. The new Mi 4 will be competing with both Apple's 5.5 inch model and Samsung's upcoming Note 4. The pressure is now on Apple to deliver their larger iPhone on time this fall in order to at least maintain their status in the Chinese market. Our report provides you with a look at the full specifications of the new Mi 4 that Apple will be competing against in China this current quarter and into the Holiday season.
The Xiaomi's Mi 4 specifications are solid with a 5.5 inch IPS OGS display with 1920 x 1080 resolution at 400PPI from Sharp and LG; a 13.0 megapixel Sony Exmor RS series backside camera with Sapphire Glass that is also rumored for the iPhone 6, along with a front side 8.0 megapixel camera for taking great selfies. The smartphone also comes with 3GB of RAM which Apple fans would appreciate on the iPhone 6 (but won't get). The rest of the specifications are noted further below. The 16GB model will sell for US$399.
Considering that Apple's rumored iPhone 6 volume is ranging somewhere between 70 and 120 million units, it's clear that Apple is confident in their upcoming phone and ready to do battle in China and around the globe by providing the very best premium smartphone on the planet.
Yet at the end of the day, there's no doubt that Xiaomi's Mi 4 smartphone is going to be a strong competitor against Apple in China. Yet more realistically, the Android centric smartphone is likely to overtake Samsung's upcoming Note 4. Squeezed at the top, mid and low range of the market, Samsung's bad year may actually continue for some time in China.
This isn't just my opinion; Korea's etnews is making the same observations today in an article titled "Samsung Electronics’ biggest competitor, millet (Xiaomi) rather than Apple?" The report notes that the company that is giving Samsung the hardest time in the Chinese market isn't ZTE, Huawei or Lenovo. It is none other than Xiaomi. The Mi-3 which was released by Xiaomi in September last year has sold 10 million units since its launch, and thus is encroaching on Samsung Electronics’ smartphone market share.
The report further noted that "Xiaomi formed a battle line against Samsung Electronics as it released a new product Mi-4, which is applied with a premium application processor (AP) and a 16 million pixel camera."
For the sake of perspective, Xiaomi has sold 26.1 million smartphones in the first half of this year compared to Apple's 82.5 million iPhones.