Chinese manufacturer Xiaomi has moved from zero to hero within the smartphone industry and in just a few short years. Xiaomi has a business model organized around selling smartphones at a little above cost price, on very thin margins of around 2% and instead aim to make money from selling on third party applications and services. In many respects, this is similar to the business model Google have have adopted when it released the 2012 Nexus 7 and Nexus 4 devices, as these too offered a very respectable hardware specification as a great platform for exploring Google’s products and services for sale via the Google Play Store. And until recently, Xiaomi had very much concentrated on the smartphone market but we’ve seen them venture into fitness bands, tablets and health monitoring systems. However, it is their tablet business that is the subject of today’s news as Xiaomi’s early attempts to break into the tablet market have, so far, been less than the fireball success of their smartphone business. Things even reached the point whereby a rumor was circulating in the industry that Xiaomi was to dissolve their tablet division.
Now Xiaomi’s Chief Executive Officer, Lei Jun, has used Chinese social network Weibo to confirm that Xiaomi’s tablet business is here to stay. Now, Xiaomi has only so far produced one tablet, the Mi Pad, but Lei stated that this has become the best selling Android tablet (presumably in China) and that the company will continue in their quest to provide the best tablet experience to customers. However, Lei fell short of announcing a successor device to the Mi Pad, which was launched almost a year ago in June 2014. Earlier in the year, there was a leaked photo claiming to be the chassis of the Mi Pad 2, but so far this device has yet to appear.
As for the current Mi Pad, this is based around a quad-core, 2.2 GHz, 32-bit Nvidia Tegra K1-32 processor (which is based around the ARM Cortex-A15 processor). The Tegra K1-32 contains the ultra low power GeForce Kepler GPU and is only seen in the Nvidia Shield Tablet, where is performs very well. The Tegra System-on-Chip drives a 1,536 by 2,048 pixel, 4:3 ratio, 7.9-inch IPS screen. The device comes with either 16 GB or 64 GB of internal memory, plus a MicroSD card slot, an 8-megapixel rear camera and a 5-megapiel front camera, plus a 6,700 mAh internal battery. Whilst the Mi Tab is a year old, these specifications are still credible today and means the successor device has something of a hard act to follow.