According to reliable sources, Xiaomi, which presently ranks as China's most prominent smartphone seller, is mulling over the launch of its first laptop in early 2016, establishing a new front in its war against China’s Lenovo Group and Apple Corp.
Xiaomi’s laptop may be established in the first quarter of 2016 to face such premium brands as Lenovo’s ThinkPad and Apple’s MacBook Air, the sources said, asking to remain anonymous, because the matter is confidential.
According to the sources, Xiaomi has held discussions with Samsung Electronics to furnish them with memory chips, and that original contract may extend to supplying displays.
Only five years after its establishment, Xiaomi leaped into the international smartphone market’s top ranks by supplying stylish gadgets with premium components at average prices.
It has spent 2015 opening online stores in the United States and the United Kingdom though curiously has not offered many of its popular phones and tablets for sale. It has instead sold accessories like battery packs and headphones.
Yet at some point it will no doubt sell products that compete head-on with major western brands and it appears a laptop may be the first salvo in what will undoubtedly be a drawn out war.
Xiaomi’s entry into the computer business will bring extra cost pressures against market leaders Hewlett-Packard, Apple and Lenovo.
Furnishing Xiaomi with chips will boost Samsung’s components sector as its attempts to reduce dependence on supplying its own Galaxy devices with the components.
Xiaomi and Samsung were not willing to give statements on the matter.
The Chinese company co-founded by tycoon Lei Jun made its mark with less costly smartphones sold over the internet before venturing into higher-end gadgets, buoyed by a flourishing online community.
Xiaomi’s venture into personal computers comes as expansion in its core industry winds down. International smartphone sales recorded their slowest expansion rate since 2013 in the second quarter of 2015.
A quickly maturing domestic market has encouraged Xiaomi to focus on Brazil, India and other less saturated smartphone markets.
Samsung too is struggling with slow sales of its own high-end Galaxy class and in July, it recorded a fifth direct drop in quarterly profit.
It seems like this declining growth will nudge Xiaomi into launching a major product into the United States and all signs, at least at this stage, point to an inexpensive laptop.