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But critics say the firm has simply copied the look of Apple's iPhones, thriving because of weak intellectual property protection in China/XINHUA-File

Kenya

China smartphone maker Xiaomi wants a bite of Apple

– Indian pickle –

But while Xiaomi is a major player in China, analysts say that patent issues and low brand recognition outside its home market are obstacles to the international expansion necessary to realise Lei’s dream.

“What remains to be seen is how quickly the company can move beyond its home territories to drive volumes higher,” market intelligence provider IDC said.

Xiaomi has launched products outside mainland China in Hong Kong and Taiwan, as well as Southeast Asia, but the company suffered a setback in India.

In December, Sweden’s Ericsson won a court order blocking sale of Xiaomi devices in India over patents, Bloomberg News reported.

Wang Jun of Analysys International told AFP: “Even if Xiaomi were able to sort out all of its intellectual property problems in overseas markets, it would still take years for it to overtake Apple’s market position.”

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