Is Xiaomi's Lei Jun the Steve Jobs of China?

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Sept. 6 (Bloomberg) -- Bloomberg's Stephen Engle discusses smartphone maker Xiaomi with Emily Chang on Bloomberg Television's "Bloomberg West." (Source: Bloomberg)

Market demand maybe the opposing force here.

In three years, xiaomi has moved off its five time and nearly doubled its workforce this year alone to 3700. little rice is no longer a little company, no matter how much lei jun protests.

Stephen engle joins us now from beijing.

Stephen, let's first talk about the money.

Xiaomi turning a profit for the first hundred how i than able to turn a profit so quickly when their father so cheap?

That is one thing that we kept on asking, and also president ben lin lin, how is the company profitable?

They said it was going to be three years before they break even, but they have already reached profitability.

Their new phone sell this close of lee with china mobile, sells for only -- exclusively with china mobile.

Bin lin told me it is priced at rock bottom.

No margin.

That is their cost.

And that is what they are selling appeared we asked again and again, how are you making money?

Their phones on average, they are about a third the price of an iphone or a galaxy s4. so again, how are you making money.

There saying sales grew so fast, faster than expected that they achieved scale faster.

They reduced cost, they started making money, up more than one year ahead of schedule.

They are expecting to triple handset sales today -- and this year to 20 million units.

They just launched internet- ready tv.

On top of that, they do not have bricks and mortars.

All of this is old on -- is sold online.

They have no distribution network other than male.

The key for them they say is not the hardware -- it is going to be software and services, gains, content, and the like.

It is interesting to hear him say that the comparisons to apple only tell part of the story.

I am curious about the brand's cool factor.

How cool is xiaomi versus apple or samsung?

It is kind of cool right now.

If you have got that vibe there from that report because he is fairly young, 42 is still young, it is younger than i am.

He is kind of a visionary.

He is not the button-down, state owned enterprise guy in china.

That we often see with a state owned enterprise.

This is a homegrown brand.

It is young, it is really suited to the young people.

They have a slick music interface, photo interface, you have what is called miui, which is the mi user interface.

It is attracting a younger audience because of the cheap factor but also kind of cool as well.

Would use a cooler than apple?

Apple for a long time has been the epitome of cool in china.

Yeah, apple is losing a bit of its cool factor of, i have to say.

They have slipped to number seven in the market right now below xiaomi, below zte, lenovo, samsung.

Samsung is by far the number one player here for smartphones, 18.3% of the market or something like that.

Apple, just 4%. they have not had a lot of big wow factor products come out.

We are expecting this cheaper phone, but it is a watered-down iphone -- it is a going to beat what these smaller manufacturers are already making at a fraction of the cost?

Apple is still cool, but it is a niche product at the top end.

One must quick question.

If he like the steve jobs of china?

We keep comparing it to steve jobs whether he likes it or not.

Do fans view him in the same way that apple fans view jobs?

Yes.

Even though he does not like to be called that.

We were told repeatedly please don't compare him to steve jobs.

Especially face-to-face.

It is a bit prickly with him because he wants to make a name for himself.

This text has been automatically generated. It may not be 100% accurate.

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