Hard to believe that Xiaomi, a Chinese startup which didn’t even have a physical product when it first launched, is now the third largest smartphone maker in the world.
On 31 March, when it turns five, it will be vastly different from when it first started, now with smartphones, tablets, TVs, battery packs, fitness trackers, and perhaps, more products categories under its portfolio.
And on its fifth birthday, it’s highly likely that a new tablet will be unveiled. The fifth anniversary event, announced on Xiaomi’s forums, was also accompanied by a few hints, with the first pointing at last year’s Mi Pad.
Now the second hint is a real headscratcher. While the obvious text points to a new product, an illustration of a dress kind of threw a lot of guesses out the window. That’s not stopping us from speculating that a smart dress will be unveiled. Seriously, it might not be that much of a stretch, seeing how smart apparels do exist.
Still, the likelihood of a new Mi Pad is pretty high. Given how the Mi Pad, a 7.9in slab, was launched in March 2014, a one-year upgrading cycle would mean that the Xiaomi tablet is due for a refresh. The question is, will it have similar hardware to the first version, retaining the same screen size and resolution? Or will there be a stark difference in the hardware?
With Xiaomi’s pricing strategy, it’s possible that you’ll see incremental upgrades to a new Mi Pad. This could be very much similar to what Xiaomi did with the Redmi 2, which sports an almost identical build to the first Redmi with a few upgrades such as its processor and front camera.
While the Mi Pad is the most likely item on the agenda, Xiaomi’s forum is teeming with speculations that there’ll be more products unveiled. The company has even asked its users to participate in a poll to guess the number of products to be unveiled. As of now, all bets are on the Chinese company tossing three new products into the market.
More hints are expected over the next few days, but the company is also known to throw a few surprises along the way. One such example is Xiaomi’s smart air purifier, operated by its smart home app.
Another likely product that we could hear from Xiaomi CEO Lei Jun is the next iteration of their fitness tracker, the Mi Band. Or, fingers crossed that the rumoured Xiaomi smartwatch will make its debut.
Either way, we’ll know more when 31 March rolls around.