Xiaomi to launch lap­tops next year

China Daily (Canada) - - SHANGHAI - By BLOOMBERG

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.

Xiaomi

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.

XU KANGPING / FOR CHINA DAILY

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.

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