Xiaomi has sold more TV sets online than any other brand in China for two consecutive quarters, Li Xiaoshuang, general manager of Xiaomi TV & Air Conditioning Department, said Tuesday in Beijing.
The Chinese smartphone maker released Tuesday its latest 65-inch Mi TV model named “Mural” (our translation), featuring a customized Samsung 4K panel with a flat back that can be hung on an indoor wall like a painting. Priced at RMB 6,999 ($1,040), it is also Xiaomi’s first TV model equipped with its XiaoAI virtual assistant, which allows users to control the TV using natural human language from a distance of up to 10 meters and without the aid of a remote control.
According to market research firm China Market Monitor, Xiaomi has become the top TV seller for online sales channels for two consecutive quarters beginning October 2018. It accounted for 22.7% of total market sales volume in the first quarter this year, beating Hisense (14.5%) and Skyworth (12.1%), the two established manufacturers that rank first and second place in the offline market.
Also included in the launch were also a new standing air conditioner model C1 for RMB 3,499, a RMB 1,799 treadmill and an electric fan, all of which can be controlled using voice recognition technology. The raft of new products mark the company’s latest push to conquer consumer living rooms using its artificial intelligence of things (AIoT) initiative.
The Beijing-based company launched its “smartphone + AIoT” dual-engine strategy in January announcing that it will invest RMB 10 billion to shore up its internet of things (IoT) ecosystem over the next five years. Television, thanks to a big screen and frequent user interaction, is one of the most strategic consumer electronics products in its ambitious AIoT plan, Xiaomi founder and CEO Lei Jun said.
Chinese smartphone makers, including Huawei and Oppo, are piling into the home intelligence market, as global smartphone shipments decelerate further. Xiaomi sold 118.7 million units with a 29.8% year-on-year increase in 2018, while fourth quarter shipment declined 12.3% compared with the same period a year earlier. By contrast, Xiaomi smart TVs shipment rose sharply in 2018, surging 225.5% year on year to 8.4 million units.