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Xiaomi hints at launching first laptop PC

Posted: 04 Sep 2015 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:laptop? PC? MacBook Air? ThinkPad? smartphone?

Chinese handset maker Xiaomi plans to unveil its first laptop computer next year in a bid to take on industry giants Apple and Lenovo, Bloomberg reported.

According to people with direct knowledge of the matter, Xiaomi's notebook might be released in the first quarter of 2016 to compete with MacBook Air and ThinkPad, among others. Xiaomi has already met with Samsung Electronics to supply its memory chips, but it is possible that the South Korean giant will also provide displays for the laptop.

Xiaomi entered the industry only five years ago, and it quickly rose to the top ranks of the global smartphone industry, thanks to its affordable phones made of premium components. By entering the PC world, Xiaomi "risks bringing additional cost pressures against industry leaders Lenovo, Hewlett-Packard and Apple," according to Bloomberg.

With Xiaomi as its new client, Samsung's component business will get a much-needed lift as it attempts to lessen reliance on providing for its own Galaxy devices. Samsung and Xiaomi, however, have yet to comment on the matter.

As the fourth largest smartphone maker tries to make a mark in a shrinking PC market, which research firm IDC predicts will experience an 8.7 per cent decline in 2015 PC shipments. It added that growth will most likely return in 2017.

Co-founded by billionaire Lei Jun, Xiaomi carved its spot by selling cheaper smartphones online before shifting into higher-end devices. Its other products include accessories and appliances. The company enters the PC segment as smartphone demand starts winding down. Gartner says that the global smartphone sales posted their slowest growth rate since 2013 in the second quarter of 2015.

As China faces smartphone saturation, Xiaomi now plans to tap into other less-saturated markets, including India and Brazil. Likewise, Samsung suffers from poor sales of its high-end Galaxy products. In July, it recorded a fifth straight drop in quarterly profits.

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