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Apple vs. Xiaomi : We Will 'Not Lose Sleep' Over Xiaomi or Any Other Chinese Handset Maker, Tim Cook Says

The Cupertino company is not threatened at all by the rise of Xiaomi and other handset companies in China (including Huawei, Meizu, and Oppo, to name a few). That's what Tim Cook suggested during his talk at the Goldman Sachs Technology and Internet Conference in San Francisco last February 10, 2015.

Tim Cook, Apple CEO

To quote the Apple CEO that gave the brand its biggest market value in history,

"You know, our whole life as a company, we've always fought against fierce competitors. In the PC world, it was the Microsoft monopoly. In the smartphone world when we went in, people thought we had no chance against BlackBerry and Nokia. In the tablet world, it wasn't that there was a competitor there, necessarily, but there were people questioning "Why are you doing this product?" And the same kind of thing with the iPod, in a way.

We've always had stiff competition. We'll always have stiff competition. This makes it better. So, no, this is not what we lose sleep over. We think about doing a great product. And we think that if we do that well, that other things will take care of themselves. And so that's what we're focused on.

[...]

We've done things with people that really understood China and had desirous services there. Y'know, maybe more than anything, we've put our personal energy into it, and tried to deeply understand the market, and respect it, and it, over time, it begins to work.

Five years ago, we were at less than a billion dollars in revenue. In the last twelve months, we were at 38 billion. But I still think that when I really back up from it, I think we're still kind of not too far from the surface. That country has enormous opportunity. There's such an amazing number of people that are moving into the middle class. It's something like I've never seen in my lifetime before. And so we just put, we opened four new stores in the last few weeks. And these four stores are in cities that have about, give or take, nine million people into the city, larger, much larger in a metropolitan area, and you think about nine million people — this is the size of New York City, in calculation!

Well, small cities in China, though.

Small cities in, not Beijing and Shanghai. Tienzen. Chongqing. Changzhou. Hangzhou. Places that most Americans have never heard of. But they're huge. The scale is still — after traveling to China and studying China for now 30 years — it's still amazing to me."

To put things in perspective, Xiaomi became the biggest smartphone brand in China in Q2 2014 - beating Samsung and Apple - having sold almost 15 million units. Back then, the Mi company was deemed the fastest growing handset maker in the world, thanks to well-received releases like Xiaomi Mi3, Redmi Note, and Redmi 1s.

But it was a success that wasn't without controversies relating to Xiaomi being a copycat. According to Business Insider, "Xiaomi borrows heavily from Apple's marketing strategy. For example, Xiaomi's CEO Lei Jun wears blue jeans, white sneakers, and a black shirt, just like Steve Jobs did. Jun also showed a "One more thing ..." slide during Xiaomi's last product launch, a tactic Apple made famous when it was about to introduce a surprise product."

Well, as a technology blogger and gadget consumer, I'm delighted with the fact that companies like Xiaomi are steadily rising and giving giants like Apple a run for the money; I think this makes the industry more interesting. Also, heavy competition among gadget makers is what drives innovation and it's what gives buyers the best product options for their hard-earned money. For me, this is all good.

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