Chinese iPhone rival manufacturer looking to software development

The manufacturer of an Android smartphone billed as a home-grown competitor to the iPhone in China is reportedly interested in creating software for its device. Beijing firm Xiaomi Technology launched its ‘Xiaomi Phone’ last month at a price of CNY1,999 (US$315) – the iPhone retails for twice this amount.

The firm’s founder Lei Jun has claimed that the device provides superior performance to Apple’s smartphone but at a far lower cost, noting that the handset features a dual-core, 1.5GHz processor as opposed to the iPhone’s single-core, 1GHz processor.

Lei is aiming to propel his firm into the ranks of the Fortune 500 list, having set up the company in April 2010 with a US$41 million investment from various sources. His previous venture, online retailer, proved successful enough that online giant Amazon acquired it in 2004.

"Apple’s iPhone redefined the smartphone and in the past five years, the rest of the mobile-phone industry can’t keep up with the pace,” said Lei, adding “I started Xiaomi for the same reason."

The Xiaomi Phone reportedly attracted around 300,000 pre-orders in a period of just 34 hours since being announced.

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