Made in China’ budget phone takes on iPhone in emerging markets

Made in China' budget phone takes on iPhone in emerging markets

Chinese budget smartphone manufacturer Xiaomi launched the company’s new flagship Mi 4 smartphone in Beijing, as the company’s CEO seeks to take on Apple’s iPhone.

Xiaomi CEO Lei Jun, dressed in a black shirt and blue jeans, showed off the features of the Mi 4 at the smartphone’s launch event, all while continuously comparing the company’s flagship smartphone to Apple’s iPhone.

Lei compared the manufacturing process and design of the Mi 4 to the iPhone, while emphasizing that vast price difference between the two devices.

“Our product really is better than the iPhone,” said Lei.

“Our white version is also better than their white version,” Lei said jokingly. “Even our white color is whiter!”

Lei spent almost an hour describing the Mi 4, which has specifications and features that has earned Xiaomi of the monicker “Apple of China.”

The Mi 4 boasts of a 5-inch 1080p LCD screen, a 2.5GHz Snapdragon 801 chipset with 3GB RAM, an 8MP front camera and a 13MP rear camera, and a 3,080mAh battery to power everything up.

The smartphone is running on Android 4.4.2. but uses the MIUI skin, like all other devices by Xiaomi. The MIUI skin is one of the most customized Android versions, with a completely different interface compared to the regular Android OS and several aspects which look like they were inspired by the iOS.

The front of the Mi 4 looks like an iPhone with a metal band surrounding the exterior which is mostly made of plastic with a stainless steel frame. The back of the Mi 4 has a removable plate, which can be replaced with different styles for unique looks.

Xiaomi is just one of the several budget smartphone manufacturers from China that are currently stepping up competition with high-end manufacturers such as Apple and Samsung in terms of cost and features.

Samsung has previously reported that it is experiencing disappointing smartphone sales within China, which on June had a mobile phone subscriber number of 1.27 billion users.

The 3G version of the Mi 4 will be launched to the market on July 29, selling at a price of 1,999 yuan for the 16GB memory model, which is equivalent to about $320. The price is more than half of the price of an Apple iPhone 5S, which is being sold for $650.

Xiaomi is the sixth-largest smartphone seller in the world for the first quarter, according to reports. The company sold 18.7 million units of smartphones last year, when it was valued at $10 billion at year’s end.