My Thoughts on Technology and Jamaica: Xiaomi launches US$134.07 Xiaomi Redmi smartphone in Singapore - Perfect Storm for Apple and Samsung as the Xiaomi Redmi is Katy Perry's Dark Horse

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Xiaomi launches US$134.07 Xiaomi Redmi smartphone in Singapore - Perfect Storm for Apple and Samsung as the Xiaomi Redmi is Katy Perry's Dark Horse

“Singapore is a new market [for Xiaomi], beyond Greater China [which includes mainland China, Hong Kong, and Taiwan]. We don't have a [target] number to sell as a KPI (key performance indicator), but what we'll be working hard on is to make sure we're here to learn, and want to hear how Singapore consumers use the products, and how to service the products. This is what we'll be focusing on at least for the next six months.”

Xiaomi Co-Founder Lin Bin commenting on February 19, 2014 at the Singapore Launch on their push into the Singaporean Market

Xiaomi is taking on the world and their smartphones may eventually wind up in the West, even Jamaica. That’s the takeaway I’ve gotten from the article “Xiaomi kicks off global expansion with Singapore launch”, published February 19, 2014 -- 12:22 GMT (04:22 PST) By Eileen Yu, ZDNet.

The launch of Xiaomi, one of the largest smartphone makers means they are going global with a launch of its budget Android smartphones in Singapore or at least South East Asia as noted in “Xiaomi goes global, a bit, with impending Singapore launch”, published February 19, 2014 9:05 AM PST by Don Reisinger, CNET News.

Xiaomi is launching with two (2) smartphones:

1.      S$169 (US$134.07) Xiaomi Redmi
2.      S$419 (US$332.41) Xiaomi Mi-3 

This is first time that Xiaomi is launching outside of China and it’s significant as it may portend a global launch, even reaching as far as North America in the future. Right now their launch plans are aimed at Southeast Asia, including Thailand, Indonesia, and Malaysia as stated in “Xiaomi Steps Out of China, Brings Cheap Smartphones to Singapore”, published February 19, 2014 By Christina Larson, Businessweek.

Already since Friday February 21st 2014, the dual-SIM (Subscriber Identification Module) S$169 (US$134.07) Xiaomi Redmi, are sold online at their Xiaomi Website, have already sold out and are already on Ebay as stated in the article “Xiaomi Redmi sold out in SG within 8 min; units already listed on eBay”, published 21 February 2014 5:12pm SGT by John Chan, CNET Asia.

The Xiaomi Redmi, which means “Small Rice”, is known in mainland China as the Xiaomi Hogmi, which means “Red Rice”, Rice of course being a symbol of fertility and prosperity in China! Good choice of name, as Xiaomi, which is in 6th place in the huge Chinese market, is selling more smartphones than Apple, which is holding for dear life at 7th place as reported in “Apple, Watch Out: Xiaomi Has Overtaken You In China”, published 8/11/2013 @ 4:35PM by Gordon G. Chang, Contributor, Forbes.

Fret not though; the higher-end S$419 (US$332.41) Xiaomi Mi-3 hasn’t launched yet and will be available by Friday March 7th 2014 as stated in “Xiaomi Mi-3 launches in Singapore on March 7”, published 19 February 2014 2:01pm SGT by John Chan, CNET Asia. So get ready to wait up until midnight and start clicking like crazy to purchase this amazing new smartphone!

Xiaomi Redmi and Xiaomi Mi-3 – No LTE but build Quality and UI are a Customer’s Dream

So what the attraction to the Xiaomi line of smartphones? Aside from the Google Android OS, their specs are very impressive for low-cost smartphones, even besting Google's US$179 unlocked Moto X smartphone BOTH in price and Quality as I'd described in my blog article entitled “US$179 Moto G debut on Wednesday November 11 2013 from Motorola - Google's Quad-Core Budget smartphone is Free Birds for the Lost 500 million sheep”.

The specs tell the tale of the tape:

Xiaomi Mi-3

1.      Processor: Quad-core 2.3 GHz Krait 400 with Qualcomm MSM8274AB Snapdragon 800 chipset
2.      GPU: Adreno 330
3.      OS: Android OS, v4.2.1 (Jelly Bean)
4.      Dimensions: 144 x 73.6 x 8.1 mm (5.67 x 2.90 x 0.32 in)           
5.      Weight: 145 g (5.11 oz)
6.      Screen: IPS LCD capacitive touchscreen, 16M colors
7.      Resolution: 1080 x 1920 pixels, 5.0 inches (~441 ppi pixel density)
8.      Internal Memory: 16/64 GB
9.      RAM: 2 GB RAM
10.  SIM: Dual
11.  Sensors: Accelerometer, gyro, proximity, compass, barometer, GPS
12.  Network:
a)      2G Network - GSM 850 / 900 / 1800 / 1900
b)      3G Network - HSDPA 850 / 900 / 1900 / 2100
13.  Wireless Connectivity:
a)      EDGE
b)      GPRS
c)      Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac, dual-band, Wi-Fi Direct, Wi-Fi hotspot
d)     Bluetooth v4.0 with A2DP
14.  Rear Facing Camera: 13 MP, 4128 x 3096 pixels, autofocus, dual-LED flash
15.  Front Facing Camera: 2 MP, 1080p@30fps
16.  Ports: microUSB v2.0 (MHL) 
17.  Battery: Li-Ion 3050 mAh battery (non-removable)

Features:
1.      Active noise cancellation with dedicated mic
2.      HTML5 Browser
3.      Document viewer (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, PDF)
4.      FM radio
5.      Geo-tagging
6.      Google Search, Maps, Gmail,
7.      Image/video editor
8.      MP3/WAV/eAAC+/AC3/FLAC player
9.      MP4/DivX/XviD/WMV/H.264/H.263 player
10.  Multitouch
11.  Organizer
12.  Predictive text input (Swype)
13.  SMS(threaded view), MMS, Email, Push Mail, IM, RSS
14.  SNS integration
15.  TV-out (via MHL A/V link)
16.  Voice memo/dial/commands
17.  YouTube, Calendar, Google Talk, Picasa

Xiaomi Redmi
1.      Processor: Quad-core 1.5 GHz Cortex-A7 with Mediatek MT6589T
2.      GPU: PowerVR SGX544
3.      OS: Android OS, v4.2.1 (Jelly Bean)
4.      Dimensions: 144 x 73.6 x 8.1 mm (5.67 x 2.90 x 0.32 in)           
5.      Weight:     145 g (5.11 oz)
6.      Screen: IPS LCD capacitive touchscreen, 16M colors
7.      Resolution: 720 x 1280 pixels, 4.7 inches (~312 ppi pixel density)
8.      External Memory: microSD, up to 32 GB
9.      Internal Memory: 4 GB
10.  RAM: 1 GB RAM
11.  SIM: Dual
12.  Sensors: Accelerometer, gyro, proximity, compass, barometer, GPS
13.  Network:
a)      2G Network - GSM 850 / 900 / 1800 / 1900
b)      3G Network - HSDPA 850 / 900 / 1900 / 2100
14.  Wireless Connectivity:
a)      EDGE
b)      GPRS
c)      Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac, dual-band, Wi-Fi Direct, Wi-Fi hotspot
d)     Bluetooth v4.0 with A2DP
15.  Rear Facing Camera: 8 MP, 3264 x 2448 pixels, autofocus, LED flash
16.  Front Facing Camera: 1.3 MP, 720p@30fps
17.  Ports: microUSB v2.0 (MHL) 
18.  Battery: Li-Po 2000 mAh battery

Features:
1.      Active noise cancellation with dedicated mic
2.      HTML5 Browser
3.      Document viewer (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, PDF)
4.      FM radio
5.      Geo-tagging
6.      Google Search, Maps, Gmail,
7.      Image/video editor
8.      MP3/WAV/eAAC+/AC3/FLAC player
9.      MP4/DivX/XviD/WMV/H.264/H.263 player
10.  Multitouch
11.  Organizer
12.  Predictive text input (Swype)
13.  SMS(threaded view), MMS, Email, Push Mail, IM, RSS
14.  SNS integration
15.  TV-out (via MHL A/V link)
16.  Voice memo/dial/commands
17.  YouTube, Calendar, Google Talk, Picasa

The Xiaomi Redmi comes in the following colours:

1.      Black
2.      Chinese Red
3.      Metallic Gray/ blue
4.      Green
5.      Yellow

Interesting too is the marketing culture of Xiaomi. Each Batch of smartphones is adjusted as per the comments of uses in Forums, making this a first for a company; suggestions made are take up by managers and then implemented by Engineers. Added to the fact that their MiUI (User Interface) is so easily customizable, it’s really clever name is quite fitting, as they’re as versatile as Rice.

Xiaomi attacks SouthEast Asia – Apple needs to buy this company as part of their Asia Strategy

The three (3) year old company has no plans to attack the North American and European market just yet, oweing to the distance and the logistical challenges. But they’ve been doing well in China.

Xiaomi, having sold some 18.7 million handsets in 2013, has set their sights on selling four times that much, roughly 40 million smartphones in 2014 as stated in “Xiaomi aims to double smartphone production to 40M”, published January 3, 2014 -- 02:40 GMT (18:40 PST), by Cyrus Lee, ZDNet and “Xiaomi: We'll double our smartphone sales in 2014”, published January 2, 2014 6:18 AM PST by Don Reisinger, CNET News.

No surprise then that the company’s Vice President is a former Google Executive, Hugo Barra; as the man behind this ambitious push, his outlook is optimistic but cautious, quote: “The initial rollout efforts in these countries will be slow and small only because we want to make sure we are doing the right things. There are all sorts of carrier-related issues that we sometimes can't really get right first time around. So we're going to start small then ramp up as quickly as the market wants us to ramp up, in Malaysia and beyond”.

Right now they appear to be in a ramp-up stage, taking on a many staff as they can to fill the various positions within the company. Their strategy is also unique; sell smartphones for near cost price and make money solely from Apps, a strategy that’s a combination of Apple as well as Google.

More reason for Apple to acquire this company, as they’ve got the keys to access the thus far restricted Chinese market, where they are No. 6 in that market and Apple lags behind as No. 7 as noted in “Why Apple Should Buy China's Xiaomi”, published 12/29/2013 @ 11:26AM by Panos Mourdoukoutas, Forbes.


For Apple, this is the Perfect Storm. If you want to play with Google Android Magic, then it’s best to know that the Xiaomi Redmi is a Dark Horse, Katy Perry Style!
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