Xiaomi to spend over $15 billion to dethrone Apple as the world's biggest smartphone brand

In an aim to dethrone Apple as the world's largest smartphone brand, Chinese technology giant Xiaomi will spend $15.17 billion in research and development over the next five years.

Lei Jun, Xiaomi's founder and chief executive, has said that the company will become the number one high-end smartphone brand in China in the next three years. In a direct challenge to Apple, Samsung, and other Chinese brands, the CEO also said that the company's strategic goal is to become the biggest smartphone brand in the same period of time.

"[We aim to] fully benchmark against Apple in [terms of] product and experience, and become China's biggest high-end brand in the next three years," Lei said in a post on the Chinese microblogging platform Weibo on Tuesday.

In what could be seen as a move to fill the void left by Huawei, other Chinese brands such as OPPO, OnePlus, and Xiaomi are trying to make a name for themselves in the flagship category. While both OnePlus and OPPO have seen some success with their efforts to rival Apple and Samsung in the flagship segment, Xiaomi's flagships are more of what can be described as "entry-level" like the Galaxy S21 FE.

According to a report published by Canalys, Apple overtook Samsung to be become the world's largest smartphone vendor in the fourth quarter of last year, thanks to strong demand for the iPhone 13 line. Another study by Counterpoint suggests that Apple dethroned Vivo in the fourth quarter to become China's top smartphone vendor after six years.

Apple's rise to the top position in China after so many years appears to have rattled Xiaomi, the Chinese brand that described competition as "a war of life and death."

In an effort to attract more consumers, Xiaomi is planning to open 20,000 new retail stores in China over the next three years, taking the total number of stores to 30,000.

Sources: South China Morning Post and MacRumors

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