If we are to believe all the whispering going on in the China tech world right now, Chinese smartphone giant Xiaomi is ready to launch its very own and very reasonably-priced drone.
On February 24th, the company will hold its launch event for the Xiaomi Mi 5. Speculation is that it may also be the perfect time to unveil the long-rumored Mi Drone, expected to cost only 699 yuan.
China is already one of the world’s leaders in the drone market, Shenzhen-based DJI is currently the world’s largest commercial manufacturer of drones, and while Xiaomi may be China’s domestic smartphone king, it also appears to have grander ambitions — like revolutionizing the Segway for instance.
Speculation about Xiaomi and drones began last year with Guangzhou Feimi Electronic Technology applying for drone patents with and without Xiaomi. The company itself was founded by an investment arm of Xiaomi in 2014, SCMP reports.
It was even rumored that the Mi Drone would launch last year, however the company is said to have dropped the idea because their creation happened to bear a close resemblance to the DJI Phantom drone (pictured above).
The Chinese electronics giant has earned the nickname xiaotou (thief) due to its reputation for shamelessly reproducing gadgets from competitors then offering them at a fraction of the price. This include’s Xiaomi’s version of the GoPro, which was unveiled last March. In 2014, the company rolled out a phone-controlled air purifier very similar to one made by a Japanese company and Jony Ive, Apple’s senior vice president of design, even remarked about constant comparisons between the iPhone and Xiaomi handsets during a tech summit last year, saying, “It is theft and it is lazy. I don’t think it is ok at all.”
Also, at the Feb. 24th launch event, Xiaomi is expected to launch its Mi Band, a fitness band that you’ll also be able to use to control the drone.
It’s a brave new world we all live in:
THE ABSOLUTE HIGHLIGHT of last night's CCTV Spring Festival Gala was undoubtedly the dance performance by a troupe of 540 robots against the stunning backdrop of Guangzhou's city skyline as singer Sun Nan crooned about China catapulting itself to the peak of the world. They were accompanied overhead by a fleet of 29 drones.
Posted by Shanghaiist on Sunday, February 7, 2016