For most people in the US Xiaomi is not a household name, but for the Chinese market Xiaomi is known as a high-end smartphone manufacturer whose offerings are capable of competing with the global brands in terms of specifications and features, but at less than half the cost. In 2012 Xiaomi had sold close to 7 million handsets and had generated sales of $2 billion, whereas in 2013 the company’s sales increased to 19 million devices.
This year the Chinese manufacturers’ ambitions have increased several folds. The company’s co-founder, Lei Jun has stated that Xiaomi plans to sell close to 40 million units in 2014. With the latest news coming in from Japan, it seems that Xiaomi also wants to upset the equilibrium in the tech industry by introducing devices on very fantastic rates – $50 to be exact.
According to the Nikkei Asian Review, Xiaomi plans to launch uber-cheap mobile devices in Japan this year, with a price point closer to $50. Xiaomi will not be the first company to launch cheap devices, others on this list includes China’s Coolpad as well as India’s Micromax – both of which have launched cheap devices with acceptable specifications.
Offerings from Xiaomi include the much touted Xiaomi Mi2 which was the first device to showcase the Qualcomm S4 Pro processor. The surprising aspect then was that Qualcomm had chosen Xiaomi to showcase the capabilities of the Qualcomm S4 Pro. The latest flagship from the Chinese manufacturer – the Xiaomi Mi3 – has high-end specs and includes the Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 processor.
Xiaomi had gained fame in the US, when it had snagged Google’s Hugo Barra – who was then a honcho for Google’s Android platform. Hugo Barra is now heading Xiaomi’s expansion efforts. In December Barra had said that “[he is] trying to find markets and get to them as quickly as possible.”
As of now there is no clarity as to the specifications of these ultra-cheap handsets; however one thing is definitely sure that the technology industry will definitely be shaken up. If Xiaomi manages to get the balance between good specifications and low-cost perfectly right, it does stand a chance to gain entrance into mass markets across the globe. Would you buy these ultra-cheap handsets from a Chinese manufacturer? Let us know in the comments below.