xiaomi laptop in hand

Xiaomi’s long-rumoured Linux laptop will enter production in the first part of 2016, a new report claims.

Industry watcher Digitimes’ sources also reveal that China’s Xiaomi plans to launch two notebooks: one sporting a 12.5-inch display and another with a 13.3-inch display.

A difference in screen size is not the only distinction as each device will be made by a separate ODM:

The model with a 12.5-inch screen will be manufactured by Inventec (who make laptops for Acer, Toshiba and HP), with an initial order of 250,000 units.

The slightly larger device is to be made by Compal Electronics (known for manufacturing Apple devices, and various PlayStation, Xbox and Nintendo games consoles), with Xiaomi placing an order for 300,000 units.

Industry analysts say Xiaomi is now the world’s third biggest smartphone vendor – but Xiaomi is much more than a smartphone maker.

It also makes the world’s second most popular wearable device, the Mi Band, and offers Smart TVs, routers, IoT home products and even an air purifier – ! – as part of its ‘lifestyle strategy’.

It’s very much a case of when Xiaomi makes a laptop, not if.

Manufacturing sources speaking to Digitimes earlier in the year said the company was developing a 15.6-inch notebook with its ODM partners. No firm production plans were set at the time.

Now those sources claim there are two laptops, neither of which is 15-inch in size, but production of which is to commence in the first half of 2016.

‘Xiaomi is considering selling its new notebooks as part of a smartphone bundle’

The manufacture and design of electronics is always subject to change and revision. What a source hears one month can be contradicted a few weeks later as component costs fluctuate, manufacturing availability changes, and market trends prompt a rethink.

With word of the Xiaomi laptop entering production, it’s clear a direction has now been settled on.

Xiaomi’s notebooks will, according to the same sources, be priced cheaply but offer high performance, just like the company’s smartphones.

In fact, Xiaomi is said to be considering selling its new notebooks as a bundle with a new smartphone – a way to not only reinforce its overall lifestyle strategy, but ensure its new notebooks get off to a stellar start.

And with a new, untested Linux-based OS onboard, it may well need the push.

If anyone stands a chance of taking Linux mainstream in China it’s Xiaomi.

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