XiaoMi is a very popular smartphone OEM brand in the Chinese market. The company has Apple like brand recognition and value in China and has repeatedly managed to offer high-end devices at mid-range prices. Hugo Barra, formerly at Google’s Android team, also joined XiaoMi last year and is heading the company’s expansion into other markets.
A report from Nikkei Asian Review now suggests that XiaoMi is once again looking to shake up the smartphone market and is working on an ultra-cheap smartphone. How cheap? $50.
With the high-end smartphone market saturating, the focus is now shifting to the mid-to-low range devices where OEMs will try to offer handsets with excellent performance-to-price ratio. So, this move from XiaoMi is not very surprising, since it already offers handsets with mid-range price and high-end specs.
Even if XiaoMi manages to release a $50 smartphone, don’t expect it to come to USA or other markets. The handset will be primarily meant for emerging Asian markets where low-cost smartphones are becoming all the rage. It will also be interesting to see if this $50 smartphone from XiaoMi will run Android or something more lightweight like Firefox OS.