After rocketing to the top of China’s smartphone game, Xiaomi is reportedly taking on a new challenge: notebooks.
According to a report from Bloomberg the smartphone vendor is in talks with Samsung to source the memory chips and displays for a device that could be released as soon as 2016, putting them in direct competition with Apple and Lenovo.
A separate source quoted in DigiTimes says “Xiaomi is planning to use the same strategy as the one for smartphones and will release notebooks with high price performance ratio.”
The same source believes the notebook will run Linux on a 15-inch screen and retail considerably lower than the comparable Macbook Air at 2,999RMB ($471 USD). Other potential partners in the project include Inventec and Apple manufacturer Foxconn.
As of this year Xiaomi has shot ahead of competitors in the Chinese market with the promise of a high quality product with a low-end price. They are known for their slick user interface and creative custom OS, though it remains to be seen whether the company is capable of transferring that concentrated success into such a saturated new market.
PC sales have faltered in 2015, slipping almost 9% according to IDC. But the move into laptops could be an attempt to diversify in the face of poor smartphone sales. According to a Gartner report released in August this year smartphone sales reached a record slowdown, recording the poorest growth numbers since 2013.
While Xiaomi still managed to come out on top, their main market competitor in the smartphone sector, Apple, slipped to third place behind Huawei despite and increase in sales, signaling a tough market. Lenovo, who would be Xiaomi’s biggest competitor in the Chinese notebook market, has the fourth largest market share in terms of smartphones.
Xiaomi has extended into a range of other product lines outside its smartphone business, but none have been as technically challenging as notebooks. Their product line includes air purifiers, battery packs, headphones, tablets, fit bands and other tech accessories.
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