back to article Xiaomi takes aim at Apple, Qualcomm

Apple and Qualcomm will be doing a bit of looking-over-their-shoulder competitive analylsis: rising Chinese Chinese electronics manufacturer Xiaomi is prepping a smartwatch and mobile processor. The company's Mi smartwatch has left the rumour-mill, with a launch schedule to be formally announced at a company event on May 10. …

  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Using standard ARM cores

    They are going to have a hard time competing with Samsung and Qualcomm's custom cores. Probably more of a concern for fellow Chinese companies like Rockchip, since they appear to be aiming at budget phones.

    1. Michael Habel Silver badge

      Re: Using standard ARM cores

      Kinda makes you wonder if they'll be the first Chinese Chipmaker that'll actually give it's end-users proper sources to build beyound the Stock ROMs their Devices ship, and die with?

      1. Bamboozled

        Re: Using standard ARM cores

        They have been doing so already for the last 2 years or more, look at this site: http://en.miui.com/download.html

  2. Mage Silver badge

    Under $50

    The Apple offering only sells at the crazy price because it is Apple.

    The small screen, small battery, small case means these are really cheap to make.

    If it's got no phone, just Bluetooth, that saves on parts and patent royalties.

    See "remainder" stock on eBay

    BT only: U80, U8

    BT + Phone: JV08, DZ09

    These don't work very well, though nearly as useful as the expensive models, but even without software /app added to your phone, do work as hands free, remote SMS, media player etc. Charge every 2 or three days via Micro USB. Internal micro SD card for sound recording, etc

    There is no reason why a "Smartwatch" can't be under $50.

    1. Charlie Clark Silver badge

      Re: Under $50

      Yes, but every one sold is lots of cash for Apple.

      The bigger question: is there really a market for these devices? Sales are tiny when compared with mobile phones and even the current growth rates won't make much difference any time soon.

      But cheap ones targeted at kids? They may be on to something.

      1. Richard 12 Silver badge

        Re: Under $50

        A friend of mine has one, but he's a self-confessed gadget freak.

        He uses his to turn the lights on and off at home.

        Usually while he's at work, much to the annoyance of whichever family members happen to be home at the time.

        1. Vector

          Sounds like Newton vs Palm Pilot all over again

          "...down from 63 per cent last year to 52 per cent this year"

          I believe if Jobs were still around, he'd do to the Apple Watch what he did to the Newton shortly after his return. Namely, kill it, because it's under-baked.

          The Newton was a pretty nifty device for its time; elegant user interface and competent recognition considering the tiny processors available then. The Palm Pilot, however, was smaller, cheaper and could do all the things early adopters wanted in a handheld device. Then, all the WinCE devices started coming out and the Newton got swamped. None of these devices were as well designed as the Newton, but they were designed well enough and were either far cheaper or had features (like color) that were not available on the Newton.

          A lot of the same issues seem to plague the Watch. Devices like the Fitbit aren't as pretty but they do most of what the early adopters want at a third of the price (at minimum).

          I hear that a lot of Newton technology made it into the iPhone, so the experiment was not a complete loss, but it should probably have stayed in the lab for another decade.

          1. Barry Rueger

            Re: Sounds like Newton vs Palm Pilot all over again

            Every time that I find myself struggling with the calendars or contacts on my Android phone I find myself looking back very fondly on my Palm Pilots.

            As much as I like the convenience of having the Internet and email on hand (as well as a phone), the truth is that the Palm did lots of stuff better, simpler, and with considerably more reliability.

            Some day maybe techies and programmers will learn that shoving in every possible function, customization, and gadget isn't necessary a good thing - often less is more.

            (not buying a smart watch until they have a VR version....)

  3. Charlie Clark Silver badge
    Holmes

    Wanted: copywriter with intact brain

    It's set to announce its own mobile processor, to be dubbed the Rifle, at a company event on May 10. The device will license the ARM architecture.

    No shit, Sherlock: anyone can license ARM chips. And now that Intel has officially got out of the market, there aren't any alternatives. But there's a big difference between licensing ARM technology and building your own chips, Any details regarding custom hardware?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Wanted: copywriter with intact brain

      The article makes it sound like they are an architectural licensee like Apple, Samsung, Qualcomm and a few others. The SoCs that Xiaomi is planning to make will use standard licensed ARM cores, i.e. A53, A72, that sort of thing. Basically a commodity market against cutthroat low margin competitors like Rockchip. But Xiaomi has shown it can compete in the cutthroat low margin world, so that doesn't mean they won't succeed. But I doubt Qualcomm is going to sweat much, and Apple sure won't.

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