Xiaomi is setting itself up as more than just a phone brand.
2017 has been an incredibly rewarding year for Xiaomi: the brand now leads the online space in India and is the second-largest vendor overall, and is making advances into other Asian markets like Indonesia.
The uptick in fortunes is attributable to a strong phone portfolio: Xiaomi has three great value-for-money phones in the Redmi Note 4, Redmi 4, and the Redmi 4A, and the brand recently teamed up with Google to kick off the Android One reboot with the Mi A1. Then there’s the Mi 6, which is aimed at the mid-range segment, and the bezel-less Mi Mix 2, which will make its debut later this year outside of China.
While the phone business is the main source of revenue for Xiaomi, the brand is looking to other avenues — particularly the lifestyle segment — as a future growth driver. That includes investing heavily in its Mi Ecosystem label, which sees Xiaomi partnering with a slew of hardware manufacturers to produce everything from rice cookers to humidifiers, walkie-talkies, smart light bulbs, home automation devices, and even electric scooters.
Making the ecosystem play
There are plenty of alternatives when it comes to smart home products in Western markets, but there’s not a whole lot of choice when it comes to Asian countries. Xiaomi is positioning itself to take full advantage of that with its lifestyle label. The Chinese manufacturer doesn’t want to associate itself as just a phone manufacturer. It instead wants to be a lifestyle brand that sells everything from screwdriver kits to electric scooters.
That’s the main driving force behind the Mi Ecosystem, through which Xiaomi is partnering with a host of Chinese startups to offer a wide variety of products. Everyone attending the Mi Mix 2 event in Beijing last month walked