China's Xiaomi Takes Aim At Samsung's Business With Smart TV

The Chinese smartphone maker that is surprising everyone with spectacular growth also has its eye on the connected TV market.

Xiaomi is a Chinese smartphone manufacturer that has earned itself a lot of headlines recently thanks to spectacular growth in its own China-based market and in India, its design principles, and its international expansion plans. Xiaomi really could threaten Samsung on the global smartphone stage, and with the news of its 47-inch smart TVs, the company just launched another salvo in Samsung's direction.

The TV builds on the company's earlier set-top box system and has some pretty impressive features, like an ultrathin 2-centimeter-deep profile and both Bluetooth and Wi-Fi for direct connection to accessories and content streaming from computers. Perhaps most impressive is its launch price of 2499 CNY, roughly $420.

With all of this, Xiaomi looks like a name you'll need to remember, but the company--like many rivals, even Apple--seems to face some of the same friend-or-foe barriers to success that typify the TV and smartphone markets. Its TV displays will be made by either LG or Samsung, two firms it is now in direct competition with. The company has, however, successfully grabbed Google's ex-Android Product Management VP Hugo Barra, and this will help the firm expand its product range.

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