Xiaomi, a privately owned Chinese electronics manufacturer and currently the world's fourth largest smartphone maker, has been reported to be working on its first laptop line release, which is due to be unveiled next year.
According to a press release by Inventec, it is currently collaborating with Xiaomi to produce two laptops, which would be introduced under the Xiaomi brand. The laptops are reportedly scheduled for an early 2016 release.
Richard Lee, Inventec chairman, confirmed the collaboration last month, during the 12th Cross-Taiwan Strait conference, where the standards for IT were discussed. Moreover, Lee revealed that Xiaomi is banking on its 200 million customers and plans to ship the laptop units some time within the first half of 2016 in hopes that the current Xiaomi device users will buy its new laptops.
"At least they will create a different look for their laptops, just like their smartphones," said Lee in reference to Xiaomi's line of midrange handhelds that he claims are stylish and made up of premium components.
Inventec Appliance Corp., an Inventec Corp. subsidiary, assembled more than 30 million handsets for its Chinese partner.
With Xiaomi's decision to dive into the consumer laptop market, it will be competing with established brands such as that of Lenovo Group, HP (Hewlett-Packard) and Apple. Nonetheless, if Xiaomi bundles the upcoming notebooks with its smartphones and offers them at reasonable prices, it can serve up pressure against its bigger competitors.
Last month, reports have purported that Xiaomi's first laptop will be shipped with a Linux-based operating system onboard. The reports also alleged that the device will be roughly 15 inches and will be introduced to the market at $472 (2,999 yuan).
However, more recent reports suggest that the Chinese electronics company will have two variants for its first laptop line release — a 12.5-inch and a 13.3-inch. This rumor is backed up by Xiaomi's orders of 250,000 12.5-inch notebook units from Inventec and 500,000 13.3-inch laptops from Compal Electronics, another Taiwanese electronics manufacturer.