As China continues to grow in importance, both as a large hotbed of customers eager to buy a smartphone, and as an industry leader in technical equipment, Apple and Samsung may be sitting on the sidelines in the near future. Companies like Xiaomi and Micromax are taking direct aim at our smartphone market. Xiaomi, centered in Beijing, China, is called the “Apple of China” and its founder and CEO, Lei Jun, is often referred to as the “Steve Jobs” of China. Founded in 2010, Xiaomi has quickly become one of China’s largest smartphone manufacturers.
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The company works fast and furious to develop a new device, quickly manufacturers it and then sells it out over their internet only sales – on their website. It took just 34 minutes before all 100,000 units of one model were sold! Xiaomi definitely has plans to expand their presence into the U.S and around the Globe – they made that clear when they hired Hugo Barra away from Google last year for that very purpose. Just over the past year they have started building faster, more advanced devices, and are now looking at a device with a Snapdragon 801 processor and 3GB of RAM.
Xiaomi has been selling pretty amazing devices, but mostly in the $200 range – when you think of Xiaomi, you think of a solid product for the money, but never as a high-end device. Years ago, the major smartphone manufacturers started building high-end devices with all of the bells and whistles attached and state-of-the-art technology. Once established in that area, they would venture into the low or mid-range end devices, aimed mostly at emerging countries where there are no subsidies from the carriers and they are forced to pay full retail. Xiaomi, a company in such an emerging nation, started out building devices first for their homeland, and only now are branching out to more technically advanced devices.
Our sources tell us that Xiaomi is working on 4G and 64-bit devices with the help of chipmaker, MediaTek. The one device is said to run on the 4G network and feature MediaTek’s MT6596 true octa-core processor with a quad-core clocked at 2.2 – 2.5 GHz and the four other cores clocked at 1.7GHz. This chip features a built-in LTE chip and is coupled with a Rogue PowerVR Series 6 graphics chip. The 64-bit device will take advantage of MediaTek’s MT6732 64-bit SoC, using a quad-core Cortex-A53 processor clocked at 1.5GHz. Sources say that the 4G model will be out in June or July and the 64-bit could hit in September.