Xiaomi was founded in Beijing, in April 2010 by ex-Kinsoft CEO Lei Jun. It started as a software company that created MIUI, an enhanced and easy to use ROM based on Google's Android smartphone OS. In 2011, Xiaomi announced its first hardware to the market, the Mi One smartphone. To date, it has launched a total of eight smartphones. In May 2014, Xiaomi announced the launch of its first tablet device as well as an UltraHD (4K) TV, and router to the market.
Lei Jun has been the key to the success of Xiaomi. He resembles the Chinese version of Steve Jobs. He portrays a cool, hip yet modest image. He usually dresses all in black for the announcement events. However, Lei Jun has big ambitions for his company. He started the year aiming at 40M devices, for 2014, but recently raised the bar to 60M devices for 2014.
According to our Monthly Market Pulse research, Xiaomi achieved an 11.3% share of the China market, surpassing Lenovo’s 10.8% share to become the 2nd largest smartphone brand in China behind Samsung (see chart 1) during April 2014. It is by far the brand with the fastest growth in China, 250% annual growth in volume, and 175% YoY growth in revenue in the recently concluded Q1 2014 period.