Launched yesterday by Ziaomi in Bejing, initially for the Chinese market is the intriguingly named Mi Pad. Its spec is alarmingly close to the Apple iPad mini (retina display 7.9” screen 4;3 form factor etc etc) but of course its android (their own version) and the entry price (16GB) is $240 ish (1,400 yuan) moving up to $275 (1,600 yuan) for 64GB.
As the third largest domestic supplier of smartphones Ziaomi are no slouch and cannot be ignored in their home market.
Whether or not they will roll out globally remains to be seen but they did hire Hugh Barra last year – Googles then VP of Product Management for android and his joining comment was “ … I’ll be joining the Xiaomi team in China to help them expand their incredible product portfolio and business globally — as Vice President, Xiaomi Global,”
The company, and the groups founder Lei Jun, have been likened to Apple and Steve Jobs but he prefers to differentiate the companies.
Recently Ziaomi bought the domain mi.com for a reported $3.6 million saying “The new domain is simpler and more accessible to an international audience,” This makes the domain purchase globally the highest priced one this year to date.
We’ll leave you with their Mi Pad video