Back in the Hutong
Visiting Xiaomi’s Mi Home store near company headquarters in Beijing.
At first glance, the store’s appearance bears a passing resemblance to the retail outlets of a famous Cupertino fruit company. As with many Xiaomi’s products, though, what is surprising and delightful about the Mi Home store lies beneath the surface.
If I can sum up the difference simply, it is this: Apple stores are a celebration of the devices. Mi Home stores are an on-ramp into a what can best be seen as a modern lifestyle enhanced and simplified at a hundred points by digital devices.
Apple talks about the digital home, but it is mostly smoke and mirrors. Xiaomi is actually delivering in a relevant and affordable way, and the Mi Home stores make that plain.
A growth-focused Apple would be advised to take notes – for their product development teams, not their lawyers.