China’s Jide Technology launches new media console to compete with Apple, Xiaomi

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 03 November, 2016, 9:06pm
UPDATED : Thursday, 03 November, 2016, 11:15pm

Beijing start-up Jide Technology has launched its latest Android-powered device that serves as a set-top box, gaming console and PC, pitting itself against the likes of Apple and Xiaomi, which already sell their own media consoles.

Jide Technology, which previously used crowdfunding site Kickstarter to launch its US$40 Remix Mini, an Android-powered PC, said it decided to create its new Remix IO device for TVs because a large proportion of consumers used their televisions as a monitor for their Remix Mini Android PC.

“About one third of our users who have the Remix Mini plugged it into their TVs and used it as an entertainment hub,” said David Ko, an ex-Google employee and the co-founder of Jide Technology.

Armed with these insights, Jide Technology decided to create a device that allows users to stream entertainment content onto their televisions, while also allowing users to play games or use it as a productivity tool. The Remix IO was priced from US$99 on its Kickstarter crowdfunding campaign to raise funds to manufacture the device, which comes with 2GB RAM, 16GB of storage and 4K TV support.

The device directly challenges companies like Apple and Xiaomi, which sell the Apple TV and Mi Box set-top boxes respectively.

In Hong Kong, Apple TV starts from HK$1,188, or 50 per cent pricier than the Remix IO. And while Xiaomi’s Mi Box comes in cheaper at US$69, but doesn’t have productivity functionality which allows users to switch between entertainment and a desktop.

Jide Technology’s Remix IO campaign raised over US$250,000 within the first seven hours of its launch. On Tuesday, the company released the Remix IO+, a US$129 souped-up version of the Remix IO with 4GB RAM, 32GB of storage and a top of the line CPU with architecture comprising dual and quad-core processors.

Ko said the Remix IO is a device that will be easy to operate for users of all ages since it runs on Android and has a familiar interface that anyone with a smartphone will find easy to navigate in this age of mobile communications.

“[Young children] or the older generation may not know how to use a Windows or Mac, but they are familiar with a smartphone interface and know how to download apps,” he said.

Although close to 80 per cent of the company’s users come from the US and Europe, Jide’s aim is also to bridge the technology divide between mobile and PC operating systems in emerging markets where most of the population may not regularly encounter a conventional PC, Ko said.

The Remix IO and Remix IO+ are expected to start shipping in March 2017, the company said.