As Xiaomi Prepares to Invade North America they're setting their Eyes on High End Notebooks at Cheap Prices
Xiaomi won the Chinese market by offering smartphones with high specifications at low-ball pricing along with a custom user interface that was superior to most selling Android phones. Now Xiaomi is preparing to take on the high end notebook market starting in China and eventually to North America when Xiaomi lands in the next 18-24 months.
A new report published today in Taiwan claims that "China-based smartphone vendor Xiaomi reportedly is planning to launch a notebook in 2016 and is currently developing the device jointly with its ODM partners Inventec and Foxconn Electronics (Hon Hai Precision Industry). So far, the notebook's mass production schedule has yet to be confirmed, according to sources from the upstream supply chain.
For the notebook business, Xiaomi is planning to use the same strategy as the one for smartphones and will release notebooks with high price/performance ratio, the sources noted.
The sources believe Xiaomi will likely release a 15-inch notebook as it is the mainstream size in China and will adopt Linux operating system. Xiaomi was able to customize the basic Android user interface and outshine their competition. Will they be able to do the same for Linux which has had a hard time cracking Windows or OS X? In China that could happen because there's a push in China to support local operating systems. But will it even have a prayer in North America?
The report noted that new notebook will be priced at about US$471 and will heap pressure on competitors' similar products priced between US$650-1,000.
MacBooks are the best-selling notebooks on the market and with iOS devices doing extremely well in the enterprise and so there's no real threat to Apple's business.
However, for Lenovo, which has a 20-25% share in China's notebook market, it is likely to hit them first and hardest. Will Xiaomi be able to storm North America with a popular Linux notebook? While only time will tell, I think it highly unlikely. Linux has never been able to crack this market and I doubt it will anytime soon. On the other hand, Xiaomi is likely to find success in Europe and emerging markets.
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