Xiaomi has been in the news a lot lately, and they've been making quite a name for themselves in the Chinese market with their flagship Mi-3 device selling out in a mere 90 seconds. They made headlines earlier this year, too, when they hired Google exec. Hugo Barra to help with new initiatives. Xiaomi has said before that they have plans for expansion outside of China and it's likely that Barra will be a key player in that.
The company has made only smartphones up until now, but rumors of a tablet have cropped up in the past. Now, thanks to leaked pictures from Chinese social network Weibo and republished by French site NoWhereElse (translated link), we've got our first look at Xiaomi's upcoming tablet, supposedly called the MiPad.
There are concrete specs given in the report, but it does suggest a possible 720p display and 1GB of RAM. The picture only shows the back of the device wi Xiaomi's Mi logo clearly visible. From the picture, though, this looks like a 7-inch device with a soft-touch back cover like the Nexus 7. It also looks like the speaker is on the back of the device.
The market for smaller 7-8 inch tablets has exploded recently and all reports point to the 7-inch devices outselling their larger 10-inch counterparts. Even Apple recognized this with the iPad Mini, which has been a big seller for them. And of course, there's the Nexus 7, which is one of the best-selling Android tablets to date.
Xiaomi has a history of launching high-end devices at very low prices, so it's no surprise that this device is rumored to cost less than â‚¬130 ($179 US). We'll have to wait to see if specs like screen resolution, internal storage, etc. are in line with the price.
Of course, this device will likely only be available in China. But given Xiaomi's meteoric rise in popularity, it's worth keeping an eye on the company and their devices. They're bound to expand outside China sooner than later, and could put real price pressure on the competition when they do.