Feeds

Chinese £200 iPhone killer unwraps for Xmas

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

The Essential Guide to IT Transformation

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.

Boost IT visibility and business value

More from The Register

next story
Scotland's BIG question: Will independence cost me my broadband?
They can take our lives, but they'll never take our SPECTRUM
Trying to sell your house? It'd better have KILLER mobile coverage
More NB than transport links to next-gen buyers - study
Auntie remains MYSTIFIED by that weekend BBC iPlayer and website outage
Still doing 'forensics' on the caching layer – Beeb digi wonk
NBN Co adds apartments to FTTP rollout
Commercial trial locations to go live in September
Samsung Z Tizen OS mobe is post-phoned – this time for good?
Russian launch for Sammy's non-droid knocked back
Telstra to KILL 2G network by end of 2016
GSM now stands for Grave-Seeking-Mobile network
Seeking LTE expert to insert small cells into BT customers' places
Is this the first step to a FON-a-like 4G network?
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Backing up Big Data
Solving backup challenges and “protect everything from everywhere,” as we move into the era of big data management and the adoption of BYOD.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.