Another day, another crowbar jamming Apple into a headline it doesn't need to be in.
Writing for the poorly-trained poodle circus that is the Forbes "contributor" network, Gordon G. Chang warns Apple to be afraid--presumably very afraid.
"Apple, Be Afraid: China's Xiaomi Going Global" (no link but tip o' the antlers to Rob Wensing).
Cupertino should be worried.
You misspelled "Seoul."
Xiaomi's Mi3 in China is cheaper than the iPhone 5c--1,999 yuan versus 4,488--and better--the Xiaomi phone has a larger and sharper screen and a camera with higher-density pixels.
Right, because that's what defines the iPhone: screen sharpness and pixel density.
Unless you insist on having a depiction of a piece of fruit on your device ...
Apple fanboys will buy anything! All 40 million of them per quarter.
... you will go with the Xiaomi offering every time.
No, in fact, if you prefer the best build quality, user experience, and ecosystem, you won't.
No wonder Xiaomi outsells Apple in China according to research firm Canalys, shipping 7.3 million phones in the fourth quarter of last year.
The fact that Apple only got on the largest carrier in China back in January and is still building its business in the country might also have something to do with that. If we're going to do fun but meaningless comparisons we could also note that Apple sold 51 million more phones than Xiaomi in the U.S. in that same quarter.
Sure, it's because Xiaomi isn't in the U.S., but Chang was the one who wanted to play this game.
Xiaomi, which sold its first phone in September 2011, plans to ship 100 million of them next year.
Terrific; it'll be selling about half as many as Apple.
It is willing to accept razor-thin margins, pricing its phones in its home market just slightly above cost.
Sounds like an awesome business. Where does one not sign up?
Apple's competition is not in the cheap phone market. It should be pretty obvious to anyone who's not a Forbes contributor--or in a coma as the result of a tragic zeppelin accident--that the company doesn't care to do business at that end of the market.
If successful in emerging markets--that's close to a sure bet--Xiaomi will have achieved economies of scale that will allow it to launch an assault on developed countries, and the company will have the profits from new markets to fund the attack on mature ones.
What profits? Right now, Apple and Samsung take all the profits. Xiaomi might steal some of Samsung's, but it's not like Samsung's going to sit on its gigantic butt and just let that happen.
What [Xiaomi executives] Lei and Barra are doing is the business equivalent of Mao Zedong's capture-the-cities-by-controlling-the-countryside strategy that proved so successful in the Chinese civil war in the 1940s.
So, the last time this worked was 70 years ago during a bloody conflict that saw millions of people forcibly indoctrinated into a totalitarian political system. And it had nothing to do with profit. OK.
(And we're the nuts for using iPhones.)
Clearly Samsung and the other low-end Android device makers are more at threat from Xiaomi than Apple. But you can't make a link-baiting headline omelette without breaking a few eggs of logic.