Chinese look-alike electronics products have been always a threat for branded manufacturers since they usually come in much lower prices while offering the same specifications as the original product they imitate; thereby taking away some of the potential consumers, which eventually causes a dent in the profits of the branded manufacturer. Now, Apple and Samsung need to worry about look-alike products since a much cheaper tablet, very similar to Apple’s iPad Mini, has been introduced by Chinese tech company, Xiaomi.
The tablet, which is being called Mi Pad, shares many of its features with the iPad. The 7.9 inch display screen has a resolution of 2,048×1,536 with Retina display just as Apple’s iPad mini. The colors of this new tablet also reminds one of Apple’s smartphone iPhone 5c, which are all the same hue, including blue, green, pink, yellow and white. Mi Pad also sports camera options exactly like the iPad, which means a five megapixel front camera and an eight megapixel rear-end camera. The tablets 6700mAh battery can play 86 hours of music and boasts of 11 hours of video playback.
Mi Pad is the first gadget to contain a Nvidia Tegra K1 2.2GHz quad-core processor, which is 1.5 times more proficient than other cell phone GPUs, according to the claims of Nvidia. The Mi Pad’s operating system also resembles Apple’s iOS even though it is based on the Android. This is the company’s own operating system with a catchy name “MIUI,” which is pronounced as “Me You I.”
However, Mi Pad is slightly heavier with a weight of 360 grams and thickness of 8.5 millimeters and slightly larger than the iPad. Most importantly, it is cheaper as compared to its rivals Apple and Samsung tablets. Priced at $240 for the 16 GB model and $275 for the 64 GB version, these tablets are a steal when compared to $399 a consumer would pay to own an Apple iPad mini. The look-alike tablet is also not compatible with 3G or 4G. However, it does support WiFi and Bluetooth.
Meanwhile, the official release date of the Mi Pad is yet to be announced but Xiaomi announced that they would release the tablet to a selective beta testing group next month.
Why Apple and Samsung may have a worthy rival?
The firm, which has introduced the Mi Pad, is a four-year-old $10 billion tech company that has made a name by selling high quality smartphones and tablets at competitive prices. Speaking about their product rates, the CEO of Xiaomi, Lei Jun, says their aim is to make money through services and not from hardware sales.
This strategy has helped the company positively and impressive growth records reflect that Xiaomi is the sixth largest smartphone maker globally, with 97 percent of the firm’s handsets being sold within China itself, which is the largest consumer of smartphones.
In 2012, the firm had sold seven million handsets, while 2013 had seen 18.7 million smartphones sold, more than double of previous year records. It gets even better. Xiaomi does not advertise! It sells its products online and relies on social media and word of mouth fame for its products sales!
The company is also already under expansion phase and is prepared to enter into Brazil, India, Mexico and Russia, along with six other new markets. As a part of their expansion, Xiaomi is targeting to sell 60 million smartphones by the end of this year and 100 million phones in 2015.
Keeping in mind that this company manufactured the first smartphone in 2011, Xiaomi has come a long way. This Chinese company seems to be a worthy rival that competing firms need to sit-up and take notice of. With ever increasing sales, Xiaomi is already making a dent for giants like Apple and Samsung in the smartphones industry and its introduction of the cheaper Mi Pad may mean that rival firms may need to worry for the tablets industry too. Approximately 35 percent of the world’s tablet shipments go to China alone and if Xiaomi takes over with its cheaper tablets, Apple and Samsung will likely feel the impact.
By Faryal Najeeb