Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Xiaomi in Singapore

Chinese smartphone maker Xiaomi (小米科技 meaning Little rice in Chinese) has been a great hit in mainland China with its beautiful smartphones having very good specs but very budget prices. For example latest Xiaomi Mi3 smartphone is sold for only 2000 yuan (420 SGD) which is less than half what a typical high-end smartphone without contract would cost in Singapore.

2013 has been a great year for Xiaomi. The budget smartphone maker has sold 18.7 million phones in 2013 and is expected to overtake Apple's share in the market. In August 2013, they have announced that they were hiring Hugo Barra from Google where he served as vice president of product management for the Android platform. (A little tabloid news: This came after the revelation that Google co-founder Sergey Brin was in a relationship with Barra's ex-girlfriend).

And Mr. Barra gave the good news in his Google+ account: Xiaomi is planning to expand into Singapore so we would be able to buy Xiaomi phones here. Before a photo (see below) bearing the words "Hello Singapore" was posted onto their Hong Kong and Taiwan Facebook pages of Xiaomi.

"It's finally official — Xiaomi is coming to Singapore!  Details coming soon..." wrote Hugo Barra in his Google+ account.

Xiaomi Singapore Facebook page have been created in May 2013, three months before Hugo Barra came, so Xiaomi may be eyeing Singapore expansion for some time.[3] No Singaoire Xiaomi launch date details are given yet.

Xiaomi in Singapore
Xiaomi says "Hello Singapore" in a recent post to Facebook.
Singapore expansion, according to Tech In Asia [1], will test the company’s chops in a market in which consumers have higher incomes on average. It also will be branching out from exclusively Chinese-speaking markets into a multi-lingual market. According to Oo Gin Lee[2], Xiaomi's entry into Singapore market may be a potentially distruptive force for Singapore telcos. This is because Xiaomi is priced significantly lower than comparable high-end smartphones and will provide an alternative to those who would like to buy a nice smartphone without tying themselves up to a 2 years telco contract.

For those hanging on their old 3G data plans to not loose 12 GB plans of the past, Xiaomi will provide a great alternative. Anyway, Xiaomi Mi3 does not support 4G yet.

Xiaomi Mi3, the latest Xiaomi smartphone, sports Quad-core NVIDIA Tegra 4 (the world's first 1.8Ghz
Quad-core processor), 5-inch full-HD IPS Sharp/LG display (with standard 16:9 Full HD resolution), a 13-megapixel camera with dual LED flash and a 3050mAh lithium-ion battery.

Xiaomi Mi3
Xiaomi Mi3, the latest model of Chinese smartphone maker Xiaomi. The company, which was set up just 3 years ago,
is known for selling top-notch handsets at bargain prices [3].

[1] - China’s Xiaomi confirms it will bring its smartphones to Singapore this year
[2] - Digital Life The Straits Times, I am waiting to tuck into some Xiaomi
[3] - China’s Xiaomi confirms it will bring its smartphones to Singapore this year

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