At the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona on Wednesday, Xiaomi unveiled their brand spanking new Mi5 device, a 5.15″ smartphone that’s said to be able to compete with the iPhone 6 for technological wizardry.
Selling from March 1, the Mi5 Pro is priced at 2,999 yuan ($413), while the regular model starts at 1,999 yuan ($306), reports Reuters. That’s more affordable than rival devices from Apple and Samsung, which cost more than 5,000 yuan. For 2,999 yuan you get:
– Snapdragon 820, up to 4GB RAM + 128GB UFS 2.0
– 600Mbps 4G+ download speeds, VoLTE
– 3D ceramic/glass body, weighs 129g
– 5.15” 16 LED light display, 3D ceramic/glass body
– Front fingerprint sensor
– 16MP 4-axis OIS, 2µm-pixel 4MP front camera
– 3000mAh battery, Quick Charge 3.0
– Full-feature NFC
– MIUI based on Android M
Speaking at the launch ceremony in Beijing yesterday, CEO Lei Jun confirmed a future launch of the Mi5 in Xiaomi-groupie India and “other markets.”
Vice President Hugo Barra also is feeling good about the future of Xiaomi:
This is the most beautifully designed phone we have ever made, and it’s the one that packs the biggest number of technological breakthroughs.
We are going to keep growing our phone sales, we have a huge amount of room to grow, not only in China, but in countries like India and others. But really our focus is going after Internet-savvy consumers, they are e-commerce buyers, they are not only buying our phones, but they are buying accessories, they are buying a lifestyle product.
However, while Xiaomi remains the world’s fifth largest smartphone manufacturer, industry analyst Ben Wood thinks the business may struggle to grow from this point onwards.
“The challenge is Xiaomi needs to now expand beyond China, because it’s become a victim of its own success there so the addressable market has shrunk, particularly as the market has slowed down,” Wood pointed out. “We didn’t get any clarity on how it is going to do that international expansion beyond India.”
Xiaomi is China’s biggest start-up currently, valued at $45 billion after being founded six years ago. But it faces competition from domestic rivals, namely Huawei and Lenovo. And in a global context, Xiaomi isn’t doing as ok as it really wants — last year, it carried out 70 million shipments, which fell short of their predicted 80-100 million. It remains to be seen whether the new Mi5 will get Xiaomi where it wants to be.
Anyway, they always have their drone program and segways to fall back on.
[Images via Xiaomi]