Xiaomi, a Beijing-based company which is famous for making high quality smartphones at affordable prices has set their sights on the mobile PC industry and they will be working with Inventec, a Taiwanese contract notebook maker to produce and ship their first laptop early next year.
Inventec chairman Richard Lee confirmed this to reporters on Tuesday during the 12th cross-Taiwan Strait forum on technical standards for information technology, adding that Inventec also manufactures Xiaomi tablets. He said that the future Xiaomi laptop is expected to ship during the first or second quarter of 2016. Xiaomi currently has 200 million active smartphone users and Lee believes that the laptop will bring about the same level of attention to it. He also said that they will be creating "a different look for their laptops, just like the phones.", which is referring to the company's use of premium quality materials and components while still being able to keep it at mid-rang prices.
Lee also said that the Xiaomi laptop will be developed by Inventec Appliance, the handset subsidiary of Inventec which also produced about 30 million smartphones for Xiaomi last year. Xiaomi is a five-year-old company with such a great reputation for producing high quality products, and if they are able to produce laptops with the same level of premium quality materials and components but still keeping it affordable into the PC industry, they will definitely become a fierce competitor to companies such as Apple, Lenovo, and Hewlett-Packard. According to a Bloomberg News report earlier this month, it will also bring about additional cost pressures to the industry leaders.
While no definite specifications have been mentioned at this point in time, Taiwanese media reported that the laptop will have a 15 inch display, and will be running a Linux operating system with the starting price of 2,999 yuan(US$471).
According to a research group called International Data Corp(IDC), in the second quarter of this year, Xiaomi is the fourth largest smartphone makers in the world with a market share of 5.3%, which is just little behind Huawei who has 8.9%, followed by Apple with 14.1% and coming out on top, Samsung with 21.7%. It will be interesting to see if Xiaomi can have the same amount of success in the PC industry as they do in the smartphone industry.