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Xiaomi releases Mi 6, speeds up offline expansion

Song Jingli

China Daily/Asia News Network

| Thu, April 20, 2017 | 04:03 pm
Xiaomi releases Mi 6, speeds up offline expansion

Lei Jun shows Mi 6 in Beijing, April 19, 2017. (Via China Daily/Asia News Network/File)

A seven-year-old Chinese smartphone vendor Xiaomi unveiled its six-generation flagship device, Mi 6 in Beijing on Wednesday and announced that it would open 1,000 offline retail stores in first and second tier cities, in a bid to make all products more accessible.

Lei Jun, founder of Xiaomi, said the Mi 6 was the first Chinese-made handset to be equipped with a Snapdragon 835 processor, along with the help of Qualcomm.

He added the Mi 6 features include a 6G RAM, dual camera, curved glasses on all four edges and a stainless bezel.

He said the Mi 6 was also water-proof and can protect eyes with its special screen. The Mi 6 also has the 4-pixel optical anti-vibration function, which exists on Mi 5 but does not show up on Mi 5s due to cost considerations.

The updated release was in response to the consumers' wants and needs, Lei said.

"The Mi 6 is a product with extreme attention to detail, showcasing Xiaomi's endless exploration," he said.

Lei went on to give special credit to the engineers involved and said without innovation, Xiaomi, a company that started with a staff of about a dozen, would not have survived.

"In the past seven years, hundreds of smartphone manufacturers have lost and disappeared," he said.

Read also: Made-in-Indonesia smartphone coming soon from Xiaomi

In addition to technological breakthroughs, the company have found the business model transformation a complete success.

Lei said the company, which gained strong presence in the country's smartphone sector via its web-only sales model, succeeded in cost control, enabling the same product at a bricks-and-mortar store, Mi Home,to be sold at the same price as their online peers.

He expected the company to gain 70 billion yuan ($10.2 billion) from its Mi Homes over the next five years.

Mi 6 devices with 64G ROM and 128G ROM will be sold starting April 28 in all Xiaomi sales channels at 2,488 yuan and 2,888 yuan respectively. A ceramic version will be sold at 2,999 yuan.

Jin Di, a research manager with IDC China, said the Mi 6, however, was not on par with industry-wide expectations, especially on the backdrop of the Mi Mix – a trend-setter on all-screen devices.

She added this was not only a difficult time for Xiaomi but for other Chinese vendors as break-throughs were increasingly hard to make.

This article appeared on the China Daily newspaper website, which is a member of Asia News Network and a media partner of The Jakarta Post