Xiaomi Unveils New Smartphones as Apple and Samsung Falter
(Beijing) —Xiaomi Corp. has unveiled its futuristic ceramic Mi MIX "phablet," a move seen by industry-watchers as strategically important to the brand's future, as the Chinese company simultaneously launched its flagship Mi Note 2.
Xiaomi rolled out the two new smartphones in a bid to regain its former spot as China's top-selling phone maker, as Apple reported a drop in iPhone sales and Samsung remained mired in controversy over the exploding batteries in its now-defunct Galaxy Note 7.
Xiaomi launched the flagship Mi Note 2 and the more-expensive Mi MIX concept phone during a news conference in Beijing on Tuesday. Both phones will go on sale in November.
The Mi Note 2 will start at 2,799 yuan ($413), and the Mi MIX — with a screen larger than a conventional cellphone's but smaller than a tablet's — will cost at least 3,499 yuan, making it the most expensive phone Xiaomi has ever produced.
Once the country's largest smartphone maker, Xiaomi has been dethroned by domestic rivals as interest waned in its high-priced handsets. Oppo Electronics Corp. became the country's top-selling smartphone maker with a 16.6% market share in the third quarter, followed by Vivo Smartphone and Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd., according to technology research firm Counterpoint Technology Market Research.
Xiaomi currently ranks fourth in China with a 10.6% share of the domestic market. But the company could be well-placed to stage a comeback as Apple reported that revenues from iPhone sales dropped almost 30% in the latest fiscal quarter in the country and as Samsung continues to be hit by fallout from reports of Galaxy Note 7 phones catching fire. Samsung discontinued the model earlier this month.
Much of Xiaomi's hopes are pinned on the sleek, ceramic Mi MIX, which company founder and CEO Lei Jun said during the launch offered "a glimpse of what the phone of the future will look like."
The 6.4-inch phone, designed by prominent French designer Philippe Starck, has a screen that takes up 91.3% of the phone's surface, maximizing the handset's viewing area.
To maximize the screen-to-body ratio, the Mi MIX replaces the earpiece speaker with a piezoelectric ceramic unit that can covert electrical signals into mechanical energy. The camera has also been moved to the lower right corner of the phone.
The manufacturing cost of the phone is too high for mass production, Xiaomi said.
Due to limited availability, James Yan, director of Counterpoint, said the MIX phone was strategically more important to Xiaomi's brand than to the smartphone maker's sales.
Wang Yahui, secretary general of Mobile China Alliance, said that it may take Xiaomi customers, who were previously drawn to the brand by its low-cost phones, some time to accept new product lines with a much higher price. "But to survive in China's smartphone market, Xiaomi has to enter the high-end market," Wang said.
Xiaomi also unveiled the Note 2 and the virtual-reality headset Mi VR. The Mi Note 2, with a 5.7-inch curved screen, resembles the troubled Samsung Galaxy Note 7, and could neatly fill the gap in the market created by the departure of the South Korean company's phone, Wang said.
Nov 14 22:18
Nov 14 18:03
Nov 14 18:32
Nov 14 18:57
Nov 14 15:41
Nov 14 13:12
Nov 14 13:27
Nov 14 12:33
Nov 14 12:37
Nov 14 12:53
Nov 14 10:32
Nov 13 23:24
Nov 13 20:13
Nov 13 19:50
Nov 13 18:27
- 1China’s Manufacturing Sector Expands at Fastest Pace in Nearly Three Years, Caixin PMI Shows
- 2China Will Create ‘Space Economic Zone’ by Midcentury: Report
- 3Swiss Telecom CEO Explains Why He’s Sticking With Huawei
- 4China Revamps Undergraduate Studies, Tapping Controversial Talent Program
- 5Alibaba’s Sales Surge 40% and Profit Triples
- 1Power To The People: Pintec Serves A Booming Consumer Class
- 2Largest hotel group in Europe accepts UnionPay
- 3UnionPay mobile QuickPass debuts in Hong Kong
- 4UnionPay International launches premium catering privilege U Dining Collection
- 5UnionPay International’s U Plan has covered over 1600 stores overseas