Xiaomi teases its next smartphone, due for release July 22

The successor to the Mi3 will be crafted from "a single piece of metal"

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 10 July, 2014, 5:27pm
UPDATED : Thursday, 10 July, 2014, 5:30pm

Chinese smartphone giant Xiaomi teased the launch of the newest iteration of its flagship Mi3 device today, pointing towards July 22 for its release date.

The tease came from the official Sina Weibo microblog of Xiaomi founder Lei Jun, the 23rd wealthiest man on the mainland and an entrepreneur frequently dubbed the “Steve Jobs of China”.

According to the image in Lei’s Weibo post, the successor to the Mi3 – possibly named the Mi4 – will be a phone crafted via "the journey of a single piece of metal".

This comes in stark contrast to the company’s current Mi3, which was revealed in September 2013 and has a slim plastic exterior similar to the design of competitor Samsung’s Galaxy line of phones.

Xiaomi has sold ten million Mi3 smartphones since the device’s release, according to statements from Lei Jun, and the company has set a goal of selling 60 million smartphones in 2014.

Founded in 2010, Xiaomi quickly rose to become the most successful domestic phone maker in China thanks to a line of “budget” phones that combined decent technical specifications with a relatively low price.

The company’s Mi3 phone, for example, has a starting price of 1,999 yuan (HK$2,543), while a typical Samsung product might retail for at least 3,000 yuan (HK$3,817).

A research report by consumer insight group Kantar Worldpanel in the third quarter of 2013 found Xiaomi to be the second-largest Android phone seller in China, second only to Samsung.

Thanks to this success, Xiaomi has begun branching out internationally, promoting its phones in Taiwan, Hong Kong and Singapore, with plans to eventually kickstart sales in the Philippines, Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia, Vietnam, India, Turkey, Russia, Brazil and Mexico.