Xiaomi will indeed be releasing a notebook computer in 2016, confirming earlier rumours that the Chinese company is looking to expand into that product line. A Taiwanese manufacturing company, Inventec, has stated that it has begun manufacturing the Xiaomi laptop.
In an interview in New Taipei City, Inventec chairman Richard Lee revealed that his company is making Xiaomi’s first-ever laptop computer, and that it is expected to ship in the first or second quarter of 2016. Inventec subsidiary, Inventec Alliance Corp, will jointly design and manufacture the new laptop. He also added that prospects of the new notebook is good, as a spillover effect from Xiaomi’s strong smartphone business that already boasts 200 million users.
Xiaomi’s most recent product is the Mi 4c smartphone, announced yesterday.
However, Lee was more cautious about Xiaomi’s plan of maintaining the same business strategy as its smartphone division – Xiaomi sells its smartphones at near-cost price and gains revenue from selling accessories and via its MIUI software. He says,
I am not sure if the smartphone approach will be applicable to notebooks, but I expect Xiaomi’s entry into the notebook industry to bring something new to the market.
Inventec Alliance Corp is also responsible for assembling Xiaomi smartphones.
Rumours of a Xiaomi-made laptop has been rife since early this year, when an image of what looks desperately like a MacBook Air plastered with a Xiaomi logo appeared online. That image proved to be a fake, but more recent reports suggests that there may have been plenty of truth in the original rumour. Bloomberg, quoting unnamed sources, revealed that the Chinese company have approached Samsung to supply memory chips and possibly even displays for its first laptop.
It is certainly fascinating to see Xiaomi actively developing a laptop, especially when companies like Apple and Microsoft have begun producing hybrid laptops that are more tablet than notebook. As a company which states that its brand stands for “Mobile Internet”, this move will surely pique a lot of interest – and one that will be debated by analysts and industry players to keep us hooked well into the new year.
Thanks for the tip, AF!
(Source: Taipei Times)