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Xiaomi News Round-up February

February 26, 2012 Leave a comment

I expected February to be a quiet month for  Xiaomi with the lunar festival but it didn’t exactly turn out that way.

MIUI

The big news this month was the open sourcing of some the components that make up the MIUI ROM – sound recorder, notes and so on. You can find these on Github here. Hopefully Xiaomi will release more over time.

Xiaomi M1 phone updates

ICS is still in beta for the Xiaomi M1(MiOne) phone so I have not moved to that yet. I did get the monthly Gingerbread OTA update (2.3.5n) last night. Can’t say I have noticed any changes but I have not looked at the changelog

Xiaomi M1 CDMA phone

Back in November Lei Jun ran a poll on the Xiaomi website asking whether there would be any interest in a CDMA variant of the Xiaomi phone. The vote was a resounding yes and now it is here. The variant can also be bought off the Xiaomi site or from China Telecom. Originally, the phone was to cost a little more as the processor is upgraded from the current Qualcomm MSM8260 to Qualcomm MSM8660, which is also a 1.5GHz processor. However, currently priced the same. The speculation is that this device will be the device aimed at the international market – should that ever happen.

Xiaomi Availabilty

Supply of both phones remains problematic in China and virtually impossible outside due to its popularity. The knock off manufacturers have been leaping in to fill the demand. Xiaomi have highlighted the issues here (Chinese). You don’t really need to translate this as the pictures give a pretty good idea of the size of the problem.

Xiaomi Corporate Strategy

Quite what Xiaomi’s strategy has been has always been a bit of a mystery. What is known is that they don’t wish to make profit through hardware sales. So the Xiaomi M1 is sold pretty much at cost price. So where will the revenue come from. Well this month it didn’t become much clearer. Xiaomi indicated they are prepared to take losses for 2 to 3 years and they are following Amazon’s Kindle strategy to build up a user base. But to sell what?

Xiaomi Tablet?

Well not quite. A tablet from the Kingsoft stable of companies. The Eden tablet is being released in Japan and does not have MIUI so the link is probably a bit tenuous for end users at least.

So all in all a quiet month!

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Coolpad E230 becomes erm… cool

February 12, 2012 Leave a comment

If you have been following my posts, you will know that I am a big fan of Chinese phones. But there is an elephant in the room. Not every phone is like the Xiaomi M1 and it is just that some Chinese phones are…, well frankly pretty poor….

Or are they?Imagine a particularly terrible Chinese mobile phone. Its not hard and perhaps you might be spoilt for choice. Let me help you. Here is one:

It is rather optimistically called the “Coolpad E230” Cool it aint but it was cheap. Coolpad have gone on to make rather better offerings but this wasn’t their finest moment. Just for the record its specifications were:

  • Internet Browser
  • 2.6″ TFT Touch Screen
  • 1.3 Mega Pixel Camera
  • FM Radio+Recording
  • Music Player
  • Video and Voice Recorder
  • Expandable Memory up to 4 G
  •  Ebook Reader
  • 1100 mAh Li-ion Battery
  • USB 2.0
  • Bluetooth 2.0

All this for about £70 or $110 which is about the only positive. It even got terrible reviews in China. Like a lot of cheap Chinese phones, it runs on a Symbian like Java based operating system. My iPhone 3g knockoff uses the same. It is functional but you can’t do much else with it other than what has already been pre installed.

Well that was what the  script said but Baidu (China’s main search engine) recently highlighted a thread where a guy thought different. The thread (in Chinese) can be read here. Essentially, he decided that it should be converted from Java to Android. I don’t know how he did it but the results speak for themselves:

After:

So now, of course, I want one. Thanks to J for the heads up.

Categories: Android, china, Xiaomi M1 Tags: , , ,

MIUI open sourced!

February 3, 2012 Leave a comment

Xiaomi today announced that is open sourcing MIUI Android. Code has already been placed on Github – https://github.com/MiCode. The Notes, Sound Recorder and File Explorer apps are there already. Apparently more are to follow.

Categories: MIUI, Xiaomi Tags:
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