Xiaomi sidesteps US smartphone launch at CES debut - Mobile World Live

Xiaomi sidesteps US smartphone launch at CES debut

05 JAN 2017

LIVE FROM CES 2017, LAS VEGAS: Xiaomi made a big splash around its recently unveiled flagship smartphone, Mi Mix, revealing a white version of the device that is set to launch in home market China later this year – but the company didn’t use the event to make a long-awaited entry into the US smartphone market.

Xiaomi, founded in 2010, has seen its remarkable early growth curb somewhat, and the company also used its first official CES press conference here in Vegas to outline its push across different devices, as part of its Mi IoT ecosystem.

Mi Mix
The Mi Mix series was first unveiled in November, when the company announced the concept phone would enter into production, available in only black at the time.

With a full display design, CEO Hugo Barra told the audience here in Vegas that Mi Mix is a representation of “what phones will look like in the future”. The device does away with the physical earpiece speaker and the proximity sensor, meaning it has a higher screen to body ratio, and is made with ceramic material.

“Xiaomi is bringing a glimpse of the future to the world as we explore the frontiers of technological innovation to deliver even more amazing features to our users,” claimed Barra.

He said the white version will be available later this year in China, but there was no word on if it will launch elsewhere. And there was no mention of when Xiaomi will officially sell phones in the US, following launches across global markets.

As a smartphone player Xiaomi faces competition from global market leaders Samsung and Apple, as well as other Chinese players such as Huawei, Oppo and LeEco, among others.

And the company appears keen to diversify beyond the smartphone.

Earlier in the presentation, senior VP Xiang Wang declared Xiaomi was now “so much more than an innovative smartphone company”.

Ecosystem
The company has been pushing an entire hardware ecosystem, which shapes its ambitions around the internet of things. Barra said more than 50 million devices are now connected to its IoT ecosystem, while its dedicated Mi Home app for interconnected devices has hit 5 million daily active users.

Xiaomi also announced today that over 23 million Mi Bands and 3.3 million webcams have been sold to date, and over 1 million Mi Air Purifiers are sold annually.

Xiaomi also unveiled a new TV, Mi TV 4, which it said is thinner than Mi Mix and the iPhone 7, while its software is integrated with Artificial Intelligence and machine learning technology.

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Kavit Majithia

Kavit joined Mobile World Live in May 2015 as Content Editor. He started his journalism career at the Press Association before joining Euromoney’s graduate scheme in April 2010. Read More >>

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