Xiaomi entered the wearable market in 2014 with the launch of the Xiaomi Mi Band, which was followed by the Xiaomi Mi Band 1s sequel in November 2015. Earlier this week, the Chinese smartphone maker also released its first (pseudo)smartwatch designed for children, but while the company continues to test the waters with fitness bands and products for the younger audience, most smartwatch enthusiasts are looking forward to the release of the company’s first, full-fledged smartwatch, which has been referred to as the Xiaomi Mi Smartwatch. Although no official word on the matter surfaced until recently, earlier today Xiaomi co-founder and Vice President, Liu De, confirmed that the so-called Mi Smartwatch is real and planned for a market release in the second half of the year.
Xiaomi’s first smartwatch has been the subject of countless rumors for many months, but the good news is that the gadget has now been pretty much confirmed to exist. Unfortunately, while most reports so far suggested that the smartwatch will debut in the second quarter of 2016 – presumably along with the Xiaomi Max and the Xiaomi Mi Band 2 during the upcoming May 10 unveiling event – it seems that the Chinese smartphone maker has other plans in store for its first smartwatch, and chances are that we won’t see the product hitting the shelves before the second half of the year. This goes against the claims of the CEO of Huami, who previously said that the Xiaomi Mi Band 2 and Xiaomi Mi Smartwatch will be released in Q2 2016. Huami is the company responsible for manufacturing the said products, so it’s possible that while Xiaomi may have initially planned for an earlier release of the Mi Smartwatch, the company may have decided to delay the launch for unknown reasons.
Aside from the Xiaomi Mi Smartwatch, during today’s conference in Beijing the company’s VP also confirmed that Xiaomi is working on opening roughly 60 new brick & mortar stores. Xiaomi’s first physical store opened in September 2015 in Beijing, effectively pushing the company beyond the realm of e-commerce where Xiaomi thrived over the past several years. Liu De also revealed that Xiaomi is taking an interest in other products, including those related to travel and robotics.