Rumors of a Xiaomi Smartwatch based upon a proprietary Android implementation that began surfacing in September are NOT true. The Xiaomi smartwatches were said to have already been mass-produced in Shenzhen, China, the same city where Apple iWatch prototypes are currently being assembled. However, Liwan Jiang, co-founder of Xiaomi, just released a statement that Xiaomi is not currently interested in the smartwatch wearables market and is focusing exclusively on their phone and TV offerings.
Xiaomi is a privately held Chinese company that has gained recent popularity for its smartphones and other electronic consumer devices. It is expected to ship over 20 million smartphones in 2013, accounting for the lion’s share of its revenue. Xiaomi’s product design philosophy is founded in Zen and similar to that of Apple’s … focus on the details and achieve sophistication through simplicity. In fact, Xiaomi’s CEO has been saddled with the moniker “counterfeit Jobs.” Although intended as an insult, a consumer electronics developer viewed by the industry as a Jobsian disciple seems more akin to a compliment in our eyes.
Although Xiaomi has denied that they currently have a smartwatch in development, that may not be the case for long. As the wearable computing market continues to expand exponentially, it seems as if just about every OEM is jumping on the bandwagon and trying to get a piece of the pie. Smartwatches would be a good fit for their current product line, with the ability to extend the functionality of both their smartphone and intelligent TV offerings. And, with Apple’s iWatch in development at Foxconn just down the street, it seems that a “counterfeit Jobs” would be duty-bound to follow suit.
Xiaomi Smartwatch: [Company Website]