China’s rapidly growing upstart phone manufacturer, Xiaomi (pronounced shao-mee), recently announced their latest product offering: the MiPad. The MiPad is a small tablet device, aimed primarily at Asian markets, and will complement the company’s existing portfolio of smartphones and WiFi devices.
The tablet bears more than a passing resemblance to the iPad Mini.
On a cursory glance, the 7.9 inch tablet bears more than a passing resemblance to the iPad Mini, with a similar form factor of tight bezels and almost an identical screen position. However, it seems to have also taken inspiration from the colorful skins of the iPhone 5C, with the MiPad being available in a multitude of colors including blue, green, pink and yellow, as well as the stock white.
Spec-wise, it has an identical screen resolution to the iPad Mini’s Retina display, with 2048-by-1536 pixels, measuring in at 326ppi. Powering the tablet is a quad-core Tegra K1 2.2GHz processor and 2GB of RAM, backed by a 6700mAh battery. As well as this, the tablet comes equipped with a 8MP rear camera capable of 1080p video recording, as well as a 5MP front facing camera.
All these specifications put it in the same league as the iPad Mini, but what matters to consumers is the price. Currently, Xiaomi has announced the initial price for the MiPad to be 1499RMB (240USD) for a 16GB model and 1699RMB (270USD) for the 64GB model. This makes the new tablet much cheaper than the iPad which sells in China for almost double the price (2888RMB).
Luckily, for Apple, Xiaomi is currently only selling its products in four countries.
Luckily, for Apple, Xiaomi is currently only selling its products in four countries - China, Singapore, Hong Kong and Taiwan - with its customized MiUI operating system optimized for these markets. This being said, these regions still represent a huge amount of sales for Apple, and should the product become successful, there is nothing stopping the company from introducing it to new markets in which Apple holds sway. While Xiaomi won’t be a serious competitor to Apple internationally for some time to come, with more products like the MiPad, it could definitely begin to eat into the Cupertino company’s bottom line.