Lei Jun, chairman and CEO of China's Xiaomi Inc., gives presentation.

Xiaomi, Chinese Smartphone And Electronics Manufacturer, Announces Global Launch For CES

Chinese electronics firm Xiaomi has announced its plans to launch an “all-new product” at the 2017 Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas, Nevada, on January 5, according to a report by Gordon Gottsegen for CNET.

It will be the first time Xiaomi has been represented at CES, Gottsegen points out. CES is one of the world’s largest consumer electronics conferences. Xiaomi has previously launched products at other major conferences, such as when it released its Mi 5 phone at Mobile World Congress last winter.

“Based in Beijing, Xiaomi made its name selling electronics of all kinds — including phones, fitness bands, electric bikes, robot vacuums and even a rice cooker — at lower prices than its rivals,” writes Gottsegen. “While Xiaomi sells most of its goods throughout Asia, often through flash sales online, the company has been expanding its footprint into India, Brazil and even the US when it released the Mi Box set-top box this year.”

The Mi Box competes with Roku, Apple TV, Android TV, and Fire TV, a review by Sarah Perez of TechCrunch notes.

“Priced at only $69, and sporting features like integrated Google Cast and voice search, the 4K- and HDR-supporting device seems worth a look,” Perez writes. “But at the end of the day, Mi Box is still an Android TV player, and subject to limitations of that platform — which are many.”

Perez gives the Mi Box a generally positive review because of its affordable price and user experience, but criticizes it for being linked to the Android TV platform, primarily because it is limited to the “Google ecosystem.”

But the Mi Box is just one product in Xiaomi’s broad line of electronics.

According to Xiaomi’s website, the company sold 61 million phones in 2014. Moving beyond China’s market, the company has launched products in Taiwan, Hong Kong, Singapore, Malaysia, Philippines, India, Indonesia, and Brazil in effort to expand “its footprint across the world to become a global brand.”

The company claims an overall mission of “making quality technology accessible to everyone.”

“Xiaomi was founded in 2010 by serial entrepreneur Lei Jun, who believes that high-quality
technology doesn’t need to cost a fortune,” reads the “About Us” page on the official Xiaomi website. “We create remarkable hardware, software, and internet services for and with the help of our Mi fans.”

Xiaomi has been rather withholding when it comes to disclosing exactly what the “all-new product” they plan to launch may be.

“Besides saying that the product will be all-new, the product could really be anything,” Gottsegen writes. “Maybe (and I’m just throwing things out there) it’s a washing machine, a competitor to the Amazon Echo and Google Home speakers or maybe even a phone. We’ll be paying attention to rumors on this one.”

Both Google Home and Amazon Echo are smart speakers that respond to voice commands for everything from playing music to activating other smart devices.

The Consumer Technology Association (CTA) has hosted CES annually in Las Vegas for the past 50 years.

“The International Consumer Electronics Show showcases more than 3,800 exhibiting companies, including manufacturers, developers and suppliers of consumer technology hardware, content, technology delivery systems and more; a conference program with more than 300 conference sessions and more than 165K attendees from 150 countries,” the CES website boasts. “And because it is owned and produced by the Consumer Technology Association — formerly the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) — the technology trade association representing the $287 billion U.S. consumer technology industry, it attracts the world’s business leaders and pioneering thinkers to a forum where the industry’s most relevant issues are addressed.”

Whatever the new product may be, launching it at CES is bound to expand Xiaomi’s global name recognition and market share.

[Featured Image by VCG/Getty Images]

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