According to news this week, Chinese smartphone and hardware company Xiaomi, which has been a rising star in the Far East the past few years, is set to release a smartwatch and a new mobile CPU later this month.
The firm’s Mi smartwatch has already been doing the rounds on the rumour mill, and is widely tipped to be revealed at an event taking place on May 10th.
As far as smartwatches are concerned, Apple appears to be losing traction slightly with the Apple Watch, in part because a refresh is expected around September. Strategy Analytics reckons its market share fell in Q1 this year from 63 percent in the year-ago quarter to 52 percent this time around.
The entire smartwatch market however has reportedly tripled in value, growing from 1.3 million units this time last year to 4.2 million in Q1 2016. That equates to around 2 million units for Apple, with plenty of room left for other companies to gain market share.
Chinese website GizmoChina reported recently that Xiamo’s Vice President Liu De announced the Mi smartwatch is coming in the second half of this year, putting the imminent May event in the right timeframe.
There is no official word yet on pricing for the Mi smartwatch, but the company’s other devices aimed at children (the cutely named Mi Bunny) sells for 299 Yuan (£28).
Apart from the expected smartwatch, Xiaomi is also gearing up to go head-to-head with Qualcomm in the mobile CPU space with its own mobile processor, again set to be unveiled on May 10th. Featuring an ARM architecture (as most mobile CPUs do these days), it’s likely Xiaomi will use the new chips in its future flagship devices.