Xiaomi’s flagship phone, the Mi3, was revealed last September and started shipping in October. But it appears the Chinese phone-maker is speeding up its annual cycle for the next flagship – that’s because Xiaomi founder Lei Jun today teased the launch of the ‘4’, presumably the successor to the Mi3, on July 22.
The accompanying image in Lei’s Weibo post (hat-tip to The Next Web’s Jon Russell for spotting this) explains that the mysterious ‘4’ gadget (possibly to be dubbed the Mi4) will be made of a “single block of metal”. There are no more details at present.
The metal reference suggests Xiaomi is aiming at better quality for its flagship phone, despite an affordable price-tag that will likely be around RMB 2,000 (US$320). The current Mi3 has been described as “disappointingly plasticky” and flimsy.
Xiaomi sold 10 million Mi3 smartphones in the nine months since its release, Lei Jun said last week. The phone-maker reached a total 26.1 million phone sales in the first six months of 2014 – which is greater than the 18.7 million it sold in 2013. The 2014 target is 60 million.
The Xiaomi Mi4 – or whatever it’ll be called – needs to be good enough to power the upstart gadget brand to a target of 100 million phone sales in 2015 – and drive it into new markets around the world.
Drop into Tech in Asia on the afternoon of July 22 for coverage of the launch.Editing by Paul Bischoff