TECHNOLOGY

Look familiar? Xiaomi reveals its newest answer to the iPhone - the Mi4

The Mi4 is being advertised as Xiaomi's "fastest Mi phone ever"

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 22 July, 2014, 7:40pm
UPDATED : Wednesday, 23 July, 2014, 1:51pm

China’s domestic smartphone leader Xiaomi revealed the fourth iteration of its flagship device, dubbed the Mi4, at a press conference in Beijing today.

The phone, a sleek model reminiscent of Apple’s iPhone 5, comes in a 16 gigabyte model priced at 1,999 yuan (HK$2,497) and a 64 gigabyte model priced at 2,499 yuan (HK$3,122).

The company has announced that a version of the phone will be available outside of mainland China in September.

Introduced by Lei Jun, the Xiaomi founder and CEO that has often been called “China’s Steve Jobs,” the Mi4 is launching with version six of the company’s MIUI operating system, a customised build of Android that now sports over 60 million users.

Advertised as “the fastest Mi phone ever”, the Mi4 comes with a five-inch high definition screen, 3GB of RAM and two cameras – one of which is specifically designed to produced higher quality “selfie” images.

In a step up from the plastic case of its predecessor the Mi3, the Mi4 boasts a metallic exterior and weighs about 149 grams.

The phone will be available with a variety of wood and stone-themed covers upon launch.

Aside from the Mi4, Xiaomi also announced the Mi Band, a wristband similar to the Galaxy Gear smartwatch produced by rival phonemaker Samsung.

Designed for use as an alarm clock and exercise monitor, the Mi Band works in conjunction with the Mi4 and will retail for 79 yuan (HK$99).

According to company founder Lei Jun, Xiaomi sold over 26 million smartphones in the first half of 2014.

The company has sold 57.36 million phones in the three years since it was founded in 2010, and has quickly become the most successful domestic phone company in China thanks to “budget” phones, which are considerably cheaper than Apple and Samsung’s fare. 

Xiaomi currently sells its phones in the mainland, Hong Kong, Taiwan and Singapore.

The company is focusing its energies on expanding into India, and also has plans to begin promotions in the Philippines, Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia, Vietnam, Turkey, Russia, Brazil and Mexico.

While Xiaomi's phones have done considerably well in China, strong demand for iPhones on the mainland has also given Apple's profits a boost in the last quarter.

The California-based company posted a profit of US$7.7 billion on revenue of US$37.4 billion in a three month period to June 28, an increase of 11.6 per cent from a year ago.

 

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