Xiaomi launches new Mi Note, offers Apple devices trade-in

By Jay Jay

Taking a big stride on the back on enomous success in 2014, Chinese smartphone maker Xiaomi has released two new 'Mi Notes', being called the company's new flagships.

Priced at equivalent of $370 (£300) and $530 (£460), the new phones are the first Xiaomi phones to cost in excess of 2000 yuan in China.

At the same time, Lei Jun, founder and CEO of Xiaomi, posted on Weibo about Xiaomi's new phone exchange programme for exising users of Apple devices. As part of the trade-in programme, Apple users can trade their iPhone 5S devices for a new Mi Note and their iPhone 6/ 6 Plus for a more expensive Mi Note Pro.

The new trade-in seems to be Xiaomi's move to capture Apple's market share in China, and also boost sales for the new Mi Note phones. The company already boasts an advance reservation of 1 million Mi Notes, in addition to 61 million units it sold last year that generated a revenue close to $12 billion.

Lei Jun has dubbed the new Mi Note to be 'a landmark product, and it will be the best Xiaomi smartphone ever.' He places the company's overall turnover and success above severe criticisms on Xiaomi infringing foreign patents as well as using imported chips, memory cards and operating system for its smartphones.

However, at the launch of the Mi Notes, Lei Jun stressed that Xiaomi had applied for 2,318 patents last year, and could own the largest number of patents for a smartphone maker in a decade.

Even though Xiaomi may find it hard to displace Apple in it's own turf, we believe, like many Chinese commentators, that the secret of Xiaomi's international success may lie in indigenization and innovation, a path that Steve Jobs stressed a decade ago.

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