Feeds

Chinese £200 iPhone killer unwraps for Xmas

We've been waiting for Steve to die, says biz boss

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

Next month will see the launch of a handset which outperforms the iPhone, at £200, from a man who admits he's been waiting for Steve Jobs to die.

That man is Lei Jun, and the phone is the much-anticipated Xiaomi handset. The release date is 18 December. Xiaomi is an Android-based handset with a dual-core processor, and sold 300,000 pre-orders in 34 hours thanks to an (unsubsidised) price of only £200, and a man who openly aped the head of Apple and even predicted his own success would come out of Steve Jobs' demise.

"[Steve] Jobs will die someday, so there are still opportunities for us. The meaning of our existence is just waiting for him to kick the bucket," he told Entrepreneur magazine a scant two months before Steve did indeed kick the aforementioned bucket.

But it's the style of Lei Jun which most apes the Apple man, leaping onto the stage with absolute conviction about the superiority of his own products. The Xiaomi handset has a highly-regarded skin atop of Android, branded MIUI, with some localisation tweaks. Engadget has a video showing one of the prototypes in action (and crashing).

Those prototypes are showing some production concerns, including flaking paint and cracking cases, according to local reports, though these are dismissed by Lei Jun in typical Jobsian style.

The pre-orders were supposed to be fulfilled during October, so the 18 December date is already late and to Western eyes looks awfully close to Christmas. That's less of an issue in China, obviously, and in plenty of time for Chinese New Year which falls on 23 January in 2012.

A dual-core, 1.2GHz, Android handset for £200 clearly has potential way beyond China's borders, though fulfilling local orders will keep the company busy for a while if the pre-order rate is anything to go by. If the Xiaomi turns out to be reliable, and keeps its low price, then it will certainly sell enough units to attract the attention of Apple's lawyers no matter how many polo-neck sweaters Lei Jun wears. ®

Bootnote

* Thanks to Penn Olson for the translation, Google translated "kick the bucket" as "hang", which gives a slightly different impression.

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk

More from The Register

next story
Sea-Me-We 5 construction starts
New sub cable to go live 2016
Vodafone to buy 140 Phones 4u stores from stricken retailer
887 jobs 'preserved' in the process, says administrator PwC
EE coughs to BROKEN data usage metrics BLUNDER that short-changes customers
Carrier apologises for 'inflated' measurements cockup
Comcast: Help, help, FCC. Netflix and pals are EXTORTIONISTS
The others guys are being mean so therefore ... monopoly all good, yeah?
Surprise: if you work from home you need the Internet
Buffer-rage sends Aussies out to experience road rage
EE buys 58 Phones 4u stores for £2.5m after picking over carcass
Operator says it will safeguard 359 jobs, plans lick of paint
MOST iPhone strokers SPURN iOS 8: iOS 7 'un-updatening' in 5...4...
Guess they don't like our battery-draining update?
prev story

Whitepapers

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.
Beginner's guide to SSL certificates
De-mystify the technology involved and give you the information you need to make the best decision when considering your online security options.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.