Despite the comparisons to Apple, Xiaomi has a very different business model: It sells its products at the lowest price it can afford. In 2011, it launched its flagship device at 1999 yuan ($324) without carrier subsidies, drawing an instant following. Since then, Xiaomi has always sold its products at only slightly above the cost to make them. It's been a cornerstone of its success and put pressure on rivals Samsung, Huawei and ZTE.
Pictured is Xiaomi's newest flagship phone, the Mi 4, which has a quad-core 2.5GHz Snapdragon 801 processor, 3GB of RAM and a 5-inch 1080p screen, all wrapped in a steel casing.
It keeps its prices low partly by selling most of its phones online, rather than through physical stores or mobile carriers.