On the inside, everything in the Mi4 is top shelf. It has a quad core 2.5GHz Snapdragon 801, 3GB of RAM, 16 or 64GB (!) of internal storage, a 3080mAh battery, and best of all, no silly gimmicks. Everything that is here is here for a reason; it works. Xiaomi even managed to out-spec-sheet Samsung’s Galaxy S5 with more RAM (3GB vs 2GB) and a bigger battery (3080mAh vs 2800 mAh). A Galaxy S5 costs $700 unlocked, but the MSRP on a Mi4 is only about $320 (1999 Yuan).
Xiaomi doesn’t do business in America, and it can never seem to make enough devices to meet demand.
I expect that when the big carriers stop subsidizing phone sales, companies like Xiaomi will start eating Apple and Samsung’s lunch, because the market for six hundred dollar smartphones out of pocket will not be large enough to support the Big Two’s current market shares.
My guess is Apple will start lobbying for trade barriers, claiming unfair competition from Chinese companies.