XiaoMi announced their newest flagship, the Mi3, on September 5th. They are producing the Mi3 with two different chipsets. The Tegra 4 version will be carried by China Mobile with TS-CDMA connectivity. XiaoMi is also making a Snapdragon 800 variant designed to run on China’s WCDMA/GSM networks. The problem is, the company has not even begun production of the Snapdragon 800 version. While XiaoMi’s CEO Lei Jun has confirmed that the Tegra 4 Mi3 will be available for purchase on October 15th, the Snapdragon 800 version will not be up for sale anytime soon.
XiaoMi’s co-founder and vice president Zhou Guang Ping said that production of the Snapdragon 800 Mi3 has not started yet. The reason for the delay is that the Snapdragon 800 SoC they are using isn’t ready for the device yet. Current devices powered by a Snapdragon 800 chip are running the MSM8974 version. XiaoMi is working on putting the MSM8974AB, also known as the MSM8974Pro, in their Mi3 flagship. They haven’t completed work on getting the Mi3 up and running with the MSM8974Pro and that’s why this version of the device has been delayed, according to Chinese tech site MyDrivers.
The XiaoMi Mi3 will have a 5-inch 1080p Full HD display, 2 GB of RAM, and a 13-megapixel rear-facing camera. It will be powered by a Snapdragon 800 MSM8974AB chip or a Tegra 4 chipset, depending on which network it’s running on. This smartphone will only be available in China. It’s unlikely that a U.S. compatible version will ever be available. The XiaoMi Mi3 Tegra 4 model will be available for RMB 1,999 (about $326) for the 16 GB model and RMB 2,499 (about $408) for the 64GB version.
Former Google executive Hugo Barra recently left his post at the Mountain View company to work for XiaoMi Technologies. XiaoMi runs a custom version of Android on its handsets, called MIUI. Hugo Barra hopes to help XiaoMi break out of Chinese smartphone market and make a bigger splash on the rest of the world. XiaoMi only sells its handsets on its website, and only produces enough phones for expected demand. Doing business this way allows them to keep overhead low, but also creates supply issues because customers buy out their popular and inexpensive handsets almost as soon as they become available.