Xiaomi to launch laptops next year
Xiaomi Corp is considering the introduction of its first laptop early next year, sources with direct knowledge of the matter said, opening a new front in its battle against Apple Inc and Lenovo Group Ltd.
Xiaomi’s notebook may go on sale in the first quarter to compete with such premium computers as Apple’s MacBook Air and Lenovo’s ThinkPad, the sources said, asking not to be identified. Xiaomi has held talks with Samsung Electronics Co to supply memory chips, and that initial agreement may extend to providing displays, they said.
Only five years after its founding, Xiaomi vaulted into the global smartphone industry’s top ranks by providing stylish devices with premium components at mid-range prices. Xiaomi getting into the PC business risks bringing additional cost pressures against industry leadersLenovo, Hewlett-Packard Co and Apple.
Supplying Xiaomi, the fourth-largest smartphone vendor, will boost Samsung’s components business as it tries to reduce reliance on providing for its own Galaxy devices.
Samsung and declined to comment.
Xiaomi is trying to carve out a spot in a rapidly shrinking market. International Data Corporation forecast in August an 8.7 percent slide in 2015 PC shipments and does not expect a return to growth till 2017.
The Chinese company co-founded by billionaire Lei Junmadeitsmarkwith cheaper smartphones sold online before moving into higher-end devices, buoyed by a thriving online community.
Until now, its other hardware forays have been confined to sales of appliances and accessories such as earphones and TVs.
Xiaomi’s venture into PCs comes as growth in its core market winds down. Worldwide smartphone sales recorded their slowest growth rate since 2013 in the second quarter of 2015, according to Gartner Inc. A rapidly maturing home market has prompted Xiaomi to look toward India, Brazil and other less-saturated smartphone arenas.
Samsung, too, is grappling with slowing sales of its own high-end Galaxy range and in July it posted a fifth straight drop in quarterly profit.
A customer with a newly purchased Mi Note smartphone in Hangzhou, Zhejiang province. The Beijingbased Xiaomi Corp is planning to launch its branded notebooks next year to take on Apple Inc and Lenono Group Ltd.