Video: Can China grow an Apple? Xiaomi sells smartphones half the price of an iPhone5.

WorldWide Tech & Science. Francisco De Jesùs.

Video: Can China grow an Apple? Xiaomi sells smartphones half the price of an iPhone5.

Upstart Chinese smartphone maker Xiaomi is on track to post $2 billion in sales, with some tricks borrowed from Apple's playbook. But can it remain nimble in the big leagues? 

Xiaomi has already sold 300,000 of its latest phone model, launched in October. The Xiaomi phone 2 has specifications similar to those of Samsung Electronics' Galaxy S3 and Apple's iPhone5 but a top-of-the-line model sells for about $370, half the price of an iPhone5.

 Xiaomi sells most of its phones online and in small batches.

The first batch of 50,000 phones released on October 30 sold out in less than two minutes. Subsequent larger batches have also sold out in minutes.

"We're not a company that chases sales volume. We chase customer satisfaction. We look for ways to give the customer a great surprise," Lei Jun Xiaomi founder said.

Xiaomi, which was founded in April 2010 and only started selling smartphones in October 2011, is on track to sell 7 million units this year, exceeding its target of 2 million.

Xiaomi is already profitable and is expected to rake in sales of up to 13 billion yuan ($2 billion) this year.

"Our product only sold for a year and hit sales of $2 billion. That is pretty impressive," Lei said, adding Xiaomi was not considering an initial public offering within the next five years.

Tung said Xiaomi's net margins were 10 percent. This suggests its net profit could hit $200 million this year.

In this industry, I think the most important thing is to get love from your customers," Lei said. "If you are popular with your customers, you succeed." ($1 = 6.2253 yuan)

On Xiaomi website you can see the Milet phone 2 priced at $322.- and the Milet phone 1 at $241.-

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