Feeds

Chinese £200 iPhone killer unwraps for Xmas

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

Build a business case: developing custom apps

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.

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
UK fuzz want PINCODES on ALL mobile phones
Met Police calls for mandatory passwords on all new mobes
Don't call it throttling: Ericsson 'priority' tech gives users their own slice of spectrum
Actually it's a nifty trick - at least you'll pay for what you get
Three floats Jolla in Hong Kong: Says Sailfish is '3rd option'
Network throws hat into ring with Linux-powered handsets
Fifteen zero days found in hacker router comp romp
Four routers rooted in SOHOpelessly Broken challenge
New Sprint CEO says he will lower axe on staff – but prices come first
'Very disruptive' new rates to be revealed next week
US TV stations bowl sueball directly at FCC's spectrum mega-sale
Broadcasters upset about coverage and cost as they shift up and down the dials
Trans-Pacific: Google spaffs cash on FAST undersea packet-flinging
One of 6 backers for new 60 Tbps cable to hook US to Japan
Tech city types developing 'Google Glass for the blind' app
An app and service where other people 'see' for you
Canadian ISP Shaw falls over with 'routing' sickness
How sure are you of cloud computing now?
UK mobile coverage is BETTER than EVER, networks tell Ofcom
Regulator swallows this line and parrots it back out at us. What are they playing at?
prev story

Whitepapers

5 things you didn’t know about cloud backup
IT departments are embracing cloud backup, but there’s a lot you need to know before choosing a service provider. Learn all the critical things you need to know.
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.
Build a business case: developing custom apps
Learn how to maximize the value of custom applications by accelerating and simplifying their development.
Rethinking backup and recovery in the modern data center
Combining intelligence, operational analytics, and automation to enable efficient, data-driven IT organizations using the HP ABR approach.
Next gen security for virtualised datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.