Business / Xiaomi

Xiaomi releases new smartphone amid concerns

By Gao Yuan ( Updated: 2012-08-17 17:14

The release of Xiaomi Corp's new smartphone is set to beef up the Chinese brand's muscle to challenge global brands such as Apple Inc and Samsung Electronics Co, but the lack of a clear strategy added to analysts' concerns over its future.

The announcement of two new models will continue to draw a lot of attention due to its aggressive price tags, said Nicole Peng, research director at Canalys China. "The two products will perform very strongly and put pressure on some tier-one vendors," she added.

On Aug 16, the Chinese mobile phone maker announced the Mi2, the company's next-generation smartphone.

"The Mi2 is equipped with the most advanced CPUs, screens and batteries, but thanks to our suppliers, it has an impressively low price," said Lei Jun, founder and CEO of Xiaomi.

The Mi2 will be priced at 1,999 yuan ($313), and will not be available for purchase until October.

"Xiaomi stands out from the crowd as it adopts a very dynamic approach to marketing compared to most vendors in China, from products, pricing to promotions, consistently targeting mobile enthusiasts, which are the most influential people in the wider young generation," said Peng.

However, Lei did not disclose the company's plans after the release of the Mi2, arousing worries that the company may lose its edge in the country's smartphone market battle.

"It's disappointing that software innovation and integration of hardware did not get mentioned in the company's strategy," said Peng.

Qihoo 360 Technology Co — an Internet security company that said it would enter the smartphone market earlier this year — launched its first online smartphone retail store, selling four types of smartphones produced by both overseas and domestic mobile phone makers. All models are priced below 2,000 yuan.

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