Chinese handset-maker Xiaomi claims that it is misunderstood.
Why? Because co-founder Lei Jun in a recent interview to Bloomberg has said that contray to popular belief that Xiaomi wants to be like Apple, the company is more focussed on emulating Costco Wholesale Corporation, the Issaquah, Washington-based warehouse retailer that sells everything from wine and diamond rings to bulging boxes of cereal and fruit at knockdown prices.
The co-founder also said that he expects Xiaomi’s revenue to reach at least $15 billion this year. The company currently makes a range of products inclduing pens, air purifiers, smartphones, laptops and TVs.
“We are not Apple. We have the same value system as Costco. We want users to enjoy better products at an affordable price,” Lei was quoted as saying.
While Apple commands premium prices and enjoys the highest margins in the brutally competitive $425 billion global smartphone industry, Costco sells merchandise at razor-thin profits while fueling earnings from its 35 million annual memberships.
As Xiaomi embraces a new strategy to fuel growth, Lei’s goal is to pull in more revenue from apps and services, which delivered $1 billion in sales from 10 million-plus monthly active users last year.