Xiaomi’s MI Box, the fantastic, under $100 Android set-top box is finally rolling out early October. The Chinese smartphone company has always been intent upon entering the U.S. market, and the Mi box will hopefully let them make inroads into a very significant niche.
The Mi box is basically an Android powered set-up box that will let viewers watch 4K videos at a rate of 60 frames per second — which actually is pretty cool. The device packs Dolby Digital Plus audio playback and also has HDMI 2.0 compatibility. The whole setup is powered by Quad-core ARM processor backed up with 2GB of RAM and 8GB of storage.
As far as the insides of the box are concerned, you get a Mali 450 GPU to ensure that things keep running smoothly. True to its habit of over delivering, Xiaomi will also be providing users with an additional gaming controller that promises to add an element of excitement to the entire setup.
Xiaomi has been continuously trying to expand the global reach of its products, after establishing a base in China. Today, the company sells smartphones in more than 10 countries that include most major markets in Asia, such as India, Singapore, Hong Kong, Indonesia etc. The company has a presence in other continents as well and only last summer, opened up shop in Brazil as well.
However, just like most Chinese companies that have exceeded a certain level, Xiaomi has a dream. And that is starting to sell in the US as well. And Xiaomi is in no way immune to the charms of selling in the US. Meanwhile, the company is being given a run for its money in China as well, where Huawei is rapidly gaining ground and its products are selling like hot potatoes.
That said, Xiaomi certainly needs to move quickly and establish itself in other markets as well.
Meanwhile, the chief reason why Xiaomi has been shunning the U.S. market for all this time, was the lack of patents under their name. Now though, their collaboration with Microsoft is expected to drive the process a bit. However, the company isn’t moving in with its smartphones just yet.
The MI Box is one of Xiaomi’s effort in creating it’s presence in the United States. Alhough we already saw the device being demonstrated at Google I/O in May, Xiaomi has remained pretty tight-lipped ever since upon when the device will be launched and marketed in the U.S.
However, according to a report in TechCrunch, Mi Box will be made available in the US, as early as October this year.
While Xiaomi has been keeping rather mum on the topic, it is beingexpected that the device will actually cost less than 100 bucks. At this price point, the MI Box could indeed prove to be a Value for Money product– in keeping with the company’s philosphy — since the Xiaomi has always fascinated us with their low-cost yet sophisticated gadgets.
Meanwhile, the company has no plans to move into smartphones just yet. The Mi Box is just a test dummy to penetrate the market, and help develop a name for the company while also creating awareness among U.S. consumers.
The latter part of the above is pretty important. After iPhones, US customers are going to be pretty wary of a smartphone from China, even if — and perhaps because — the price tag on it is several times lighter than the Apple devices. The same problem may also be faced by the MI Box when it squares off against Apple TV, which is going to be its chief competitor. However, you gotta start somewhere, right?