Apple has dominated the tablet market with its iPad for a very long time. Currently, it seems the company is challenged by a Chinese smartphone company who will take over the market.
China's Xiaomi, a budget smartphone maker, unveils "Mi Pad," its first tablet, stretching to a new product line and confront those companies who have already established their position in the market such as Samsung Electronics and Apple Inc. The name of the tablet given by Xiaomi is nearly similar to that of iPad, simply adding one letter and a space to Apple's trademark name.
The tablet comes in six different color options with a plastic body. It will have a 7.9-inch display screen similar to Apple's iPad mini, wireless Internet, front and back cameras and built-in memory capacity of 16 GB or 64 GB. It also comes in an identical screen resolution of 2048 x 1536 and runs on Google's Android operating system "MIUI," like Apple's iOS 7.
The product may be identical to Apple's iPad. But in terms of pricing, it is much cheaper offering the model at a price of $240 for the smaller version.
There is no clear understanding of the 4G version by the company, but confirmed Sharp as a supplier who is responsible in providing the displays for the tablet. It is also powered by Nvidia's new K1 mobile processor at 2.2 GHz with MicroSD storage options.
"We wanted the hardware to come close to, or even surpass Apple's iPad," Xiaomi's Founder Lei Jun said at an event in Beijing. Xiaomi is the sixth largest smartphone provider in the world providing cheap yet sleek phones popular in China.
"Xiaomi has a different business model than Apple or Samsung," Ben Thompson, founder of Stratechery.com, a technology and strategy Web site, said.
"Apple makes it profits on the hardware, while Xiaomi claims they will make their profits on services."
Xiaomi's current sales are largely based in China. But the company has signaled it plans to expand into India, Brazil, Mexico, Indonesia, Thailand, the Philippines and Malaysia.