Xiaomi, perceived as a budget version of Apple in China, ruffled the market when its low end smartphone Hongmi ( which means red rice ) sold 100,000 units in 90 seconds. This and other cheap yet capable smartphones are especially appealing to the masses and emerging markets. Selling for half the price of known models from Apple and Samsung, they offer the same basic experience like web surfing, gaming, photo and video recording.
Hongmi, priced at 799 yuan or $130, is the first low end offering of Xiaomi Tech. The firm has risen to prominence in the last two years because of its trendy smartphones and known investors like Singapore’s Temasek Holdings and Qiming Venture Partners. According to research firm Canalys, Xiaomi’s market share in the second quarter totaled 5% ahead of Apple’s 4.8%.
Currently the budget smartphone can only be used in China. However, with its unprecedented success, the company has recently announced that an international version will be launched soon. Lei Jun, founder and CEO of Xiaomi, said the launch of the Hongmi signifies Xiaomi’s first attempt to explore the nation’s affordable smartphone market.”I believe the Hongmi is the best product among all 1,000-yuan smartphones” in China. Some of the features and specs are :
- 4.7-inch screen with a resolution of 720 x 1280 (312 ppi)
- quad-core 1.5GHz processor.
- 1GB of RAM and 4GB of internal memory, expandable up to 32GB microSD card
- rear-facing 8-megapixel camera and a 1.3-megapixel lens on the front
- Li-Po 2000 mAh battery
- Android 4.2 operating System
For what it can offer, Hongmi appears to be good deal. Another company, Cherry Mobile, a Philippine based company offers value for money smartphones with prices ranging from Php3,999.00 to Php 5,999.00 or $90 to $135.
Apple is reportedly working on a lower-priced smartphone to sell, but it may already be too late. What do you think?