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Xiaomi readies laptop lineup

Vendor to debut new array in 2016 as smartphone market slows

Xiaomi readies laptop lineup
Xiaomi is prepping a family of laptops in partnership with Taiwan OEM Inventec and manufacturer Foxconn to debut early next year.

High-flying Chinese mobile device maker Xiaomi is prepping a family of laptops for the China market in partnership with Taiwan OEM Inventec and manufacturer Foxconn to debut early next year, according to a report in DigiTimes.

The unit is said to run on the Linux operating system, sport a 15-inch display and priced about $470, the report said. Xiaomi reportedly will try to duplicate its wildly successful mobile device sales and marketing strategy, offering high value, aggresively-priced laptops sold exclusively online.

Xiaomi may look to Samsung to outfit its laptops with the Korean manufacturer's processor and display technology, Bloomberg reported.

At this point, no production schedule for the Xiaomi notebook has been set, DigiTimes reported. Lenovo, which commands a 25% market share in the China notebook market with its ThinkPad line, is said to be Xiaomi's primary competitive target with Apple's MacBook Air also in its sights.

Xiaomi's interest in laptops comes as the global smartphone market noticeably slows.

According to researcher IDC, smartphone shipments will grow only 10.4% this year to 1.44bn units, stunted largely by a stark slowing in the China market.

IDC pared its 2015 smartphone shipment forecast from its earlier projection of 11.3% year-over-year growth based on China lining up with North America and Western Europe as mature segments with slower growth rates. Falling average selling prices (ASPs) will fuel the market through 2019, IDC said, to some 1.9bn units.

By 2019, shipments of Android-based smartphones are forecast to reach 1.54bn units from the 1.06bn recorded in 2014, while iOS shipments will hit 269.6m from 192.7m in 2014, IDC said. The researcher does not believe Microsoft's Windows 10 Mobile will become a contender anytime soon.

Smartphones sporting larger displays are expected to dominate the market for the next five years, with handsets featuring screen sizes ranging from 5.5-inches to 6-inches forecast to grow 84% in 2015 compared to last year, IDC said. By 2019, mobile devices with displays of 5-inches to 7-inches will dominate the market with 71% of all shipments, the researcher said.

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