A key player in its domestic entertainment industry for several years now, China-based LeEco, formerly known as LeTV, recently captured its first international headlines by following in the footsteps of Huawei or Xiaomi with unusually powerful low-cost smartphones.
Those managed to post pretty remarkable combined sales numbers for their first seven months in local stores, warranting early and even more impressive sequels that should go global before long. But unlike “outdated” Apple, LeEco doesn’t want to focus on mobile hardware and software, putting the internet first, and “only then software, and finally hardware.”
Exactly what does that mean, and how does the fast-rising company intend to take on the world’s most profitable corporation? By “openly” tackling the “next generation of mobile internet”, and essentially combining each and every product in its portfolio to create this large ecosystem aiming to make all aspects of our lives easier by connecting them to the web.
For instance, the recently unveiled self-driving, electric LeSee car is viewed as a “smart mobile device on four wheels, essentially no different to a cellphone or tablet”, and expected to lay the groundwork for surpassing Tesla and leading the “industry leapfrogging to a new age.”
As far as more immediate, palpable goals are concerned, LeEco executives believe 15 million smartphone unit shipments should be easily within reach this year, especially after Leshi Internet Information & Technology sets up shop in India.
8 to 10 official shops, to be precise, plus 500 franchise stores, not to mention an R&D center in Bengaluru and local factories as part of the “Make in India” initiative endorsed by the government. According to LeEco’s vice chairman and co-founder, “India is now on the way China has already been and will be leading the smartphone market in the near future”, which is why top three regional box-office results are targeted.