Xiaomi, a Chinese smartphone maker used to concentrate on online marketing, announced recently that it planned to set up a brick-and-mortar store in Beijing very soon in a bid to be more close to customers (report in China).

Customers will be able to try out the latest products of Xiaomi in the store, such as the Xiaomi Mi3 smartphone and the Xiaomi TV, according to the official Twitter of Xiaomi. It is reported that this store is transformed from a previous repair center of Xiaomi.

QQ截图20130927121954Often being referred to as “Apple of China”, Xiaomi has attracted crowds of fans after three years of development, biting into market shares of iPhone in China.

Despite the similarities in design aesthetics and marketing strategy, Xiaomi differs from Apple in pricing and operating system. Providing smooth user experience and simple UI design, Xiaomi is priced at less $350, more affordable for ordinary users as compared with Apple’s $800. In addition, Xiaomi is powered by Android, a dominant operating system in China which in turn offers a broader selection of apps.

Lei Jun, CEO of Xiaomi, also claimed that their business model is more similar to Amazon than Apple.