Xiaomi Corp (小米), a Beijing-based maker of cheap smartphones, is working on its first tablet computer with chipmakers Intel Corp and Nvidia Corp for China’s tablet market, the Topology Research Institute (拓墣產業研究所) said yesterday.
Xiaomi might choose only one of the firms to provide the chipsets for its new tablet, which is expected to feature a 7.85-inch screen with an ultra-sharp resolution of 2,048 x 1,536 pixels, Topology researcher Michael Zuo (左鵬飛) said at a technology industry conference in Taipei organized by his firm.
Citing Chinese sources, Zuo said the rumored tablet could be assembled by Taiwan-based Hon Hai Group (鴻海集團) and Inventec Corp (英業達), and might be available for as little as 1,000 Chinese yuan (US$160) in the third or fourth quarter of this year.
Hon Hai and Inventec have been Xiaomi’s manufacturing partners for its popular smartphones, including the high-end Mi3 and the low-cost Hongmi models.
The Chinese brand’s Internet-ready televisions are assembled by another Taiwanese-run firm, Wistron Corp (緯創).
Founded in 2010, Xiaomi has been successful in evoking Apple-like loyalty for its moderately priced high-end smartphones by mimicking the US firm’s marketing strategy of creating an aura of exclusivity for its devices.
The firm sold 18.7 million smartphones last year and has set a target of selling up to 60 million units next year.