Chinese gadget maker Xiaomi Technology, also known as the Apple of China, has sent out invitations for a media event to be held on February 28. The company is expected to announce a new entry-level handset rocking a 5.5-inch AMOLED screen, a thirteen-megapixel camera out the back and an eight-megapixel selfie camera out the front.
The phone is expected to be priced at 1,299 yuan unlocked, or about $190. Additionally, Xiaomi is likely to unveil a pair of in-house developed CPUs at the event, DigiTimes says.
Codenamed Pinecone, Xiaomi’s new CPUs are being developed through its subsidiary Beijing Pinecone Electronics, a joint venture with Leadcore Technology set up in 2014.
They’re developing two CPUs, the V670 and V790.
Similar to Apple’s A10 Fusion system-on-a-chip in the iPhone 7 series, Xiaomi’s V670 CPU is said to sport four high-performance Cortex-A53 cores and four Cortex-A53 low-power cores, paired with an ARM-based Mali-T860 MP2 GPU.
The chip will be manufactured on a 28-nanometer process.
The flagship V970 chip should include four Cortex-A73 cores and four Cortex-A53 cores, paired with a Mali G71 MP12 GPU. That piece of silicon should be built on Samsung’s ten-nanometer process, but it won’t be available until the end of 2017.
Market research firm Canalys recently said that Apple in the fourth quarter of 2016 lost the fourth place to Xiaomi in China’s booming smartphone market. Xiaomi shipped a total of 51.4 million smartphones, a 21 percent year-on-year decline.
While its market share in China decreased from 15.2 percent in 2015 to 10.7 percent in 2016, the lowest since 2013, Apple also lost ground after selling 43.8 million iPhones in China throughout 2016, an 18.2 percent year-over-year decrease.
Even though both firms experienced declines in the 1.33 billion people country, Xiaomi became number four in the China smartphone market while Apple fell to fifth place.
Xiaomi recently lost its Vice President of International, Hugo Barra, who was previously Google’s high-profile senior executive in charge of Android before joining the Chinese handset maker in August 2013.
On Barra’s watch, Xiaomi turned India into its #1 international market with $1 billion in annual revenues, faster than any company in India’s history, while expanding into Indonesia, Singapore, Malaysia and more recently 20 other markets including Russia, Mexico and Poland.
Barra now heads Facebook’s Oculus and virtual reality teams.
Photo: Xiaomi’s Mi Note phablet.