Xiaomi launches new smartphone
Updated: 2013-09-06 07:18
By Shen Jingting (China Daily)
Company adds 3D smart TV to its high-tech media platform
A Xiaomi Corp booth at the 2013 Global Mobile Internet Conference in Beijing. The company said its latest flagship mobile phone is the world's first smartphone running on Nvidia's Tegra 4 quad-core chipset and is the world's fastest smartphone. Provided to China Daily
Chinese smartphone maker Xiaomi Corp unveiled on Thursday its third-generation Android smartphone - the Mi-3 - as well as a 47-inch 3D smart TV, as the company steadily expands its product line in a bid to attract more users.
The Beijing-based Xiaomi, which recently hired Google Inc's former vice-president Hugo Barra, said its latest flagship mobile phone is the world's first smartphone running on Nvidia's Tegra 4 quad-core chipset and is the world's fastest smartphone.
Lei Jun, founder and chief executive officer of Xiaomi, took to the stage in a black T-shirt and blue jeans during Thursday's product launch event in Beijing.
He said the new phone either supports a 1.8 GHz Tegra 4 processor on China Mobile's TD-SCDMA network or a Snapdragon 800 processor on China Unicom and China Telecom's networks, which use WCDMA and CDMA2000 technology, respectively.
"Once again, Xiaomi will offer users a highly capable smartphone, but at an incredibly low price," Lei said.
He added that the 16-gigabyte version of the phone will sell at 1,999 yuan ($323.96), while the 64 GB version will be priced at 2,499 yuan. The Mi-3 will hit the Chinese market in October, the company said.
Rumors circulating before the event said that the company would likely introduce a smart TV or a tablet computer this year. Lei said that his company is very interested in developing diversified product categories, but that it is not capable of launching them all at the same time.
Xiaomi also launched its first smart television on Thursday. The 47-inch 3D-capable TV, made with an LG- or Samsung-built screen, also runs Xiaomi's MIUI operating system and is supported by a quad-core Snapdragon 600 chipset. The TV will cost 2,999 yuan and will hit stores next month.
Meanwhile, Xiaomi said that it has sold 9.19 million Mi-2 smartphones, including the Mi-2, Mi-2S and Mi-2A models, since the products were launched 10 months ago.
"I expect sales of Mi-2 smartphones to hit the 10 million mark in two months," Lei said.
Xiaomi's event attracted thousands of people. Many failed to find a seat and had to stand for hours listening to Lei's speech.
"The scene reflected the fact that the 3-year-old Xiaomi has gained power in China's smartphone industry," said James Yan, an analyst with IDC China.
"However, I think that Xiaomi's new products are not beyond my expectations. They are not that eye-catching," Yan added.
Barra, the former Google vice-president, was also present at the event. He said that he will join Xiaomi in October and that he will live in Beijing.
"Xiaomi is a great Android supporter and is a very important part of the Android ecosystem here in China," he said.
Xiaomi, which is backed by investors including Singapore's Temasek Holdings Pte and Qiming Venture Partners, said earlier this month that it had completed its fourth round of funding, giving it a valuation of $10 billion.
According to a survey conducted by Chinese news portal sina.com on Thursday, seven out of every 10 people regard the Mi-3 as "a smartphone of high value and with a relatively low price". About half of the respondents said they will buy the phone, while one-fourth of those polled said they want to buy the device but are afraid of a product shortage.