We are keeping a close eye on YI. initially dubbed as the GoPro killer, YI has been growing. They have a gimbal out, a drone in the planning and a mirrorless camera. I thought it would be very interesting to speak with YI CEO, Mr. Sean Da, about the past, present and future of YI.
It is clear that YI is very technology focused. When we talked with, Mr. Sean Da, he was not telling a lifestyle story about mountain climbing, surfing or parachuting. He was simply saying, we have the best camera in the market. This is a really interesting approach to the market, but I think it is also one of the companies weak spots. A lot of the market is not being sold on tech, it is being sold on stories and I think that YI will have to pivot that was if they want to conquer the market.
One interesting thing is that YI technology is facing the same “counterfeit from china”, issues that every other manufacturer is facing. Mr. Sean Da is not very excited about those, and things that they are only there for the short term profit and will come and go.
The first YI HD camera was branded Xiaomi YI, but now YI is branding off with their own brand. Xiaomi are investors in YI, so initial penetration was via XIAOMI channels but as time progresses, there will be more YI and less XIAOMI YI.
I think that it will be fascinating to see where this company is going, so we will keep an eye.
P.S. you can see a review of the YI4k here, and stay tuned for our Yi M1 mirrorless review