Xiaomi will begin selling its Mi Box media streamer
in the US “as soon as next month,” according to a new TechCrunch report
Citing “a source inside Xiaomi,” the report claims the Mi Box, which runs the Android TV operating system, will be made available in the early part of the Q4 2016, and that it will cost less than $100.
The Mi Box was first unveiled at Google I/O this past May, where Xiaomi noted it was “working closely with Google” on a US launch.
Xiaomi’s specs page notes the little black box will use Android 6.0 Marshmallow, support 4K (at up to 60 frames per second) and (eventually)
HDR10 video, and run on a quad-core ARM processor with 2GB of RAM and 8GB of expandable storage.
Though Android TV generally lags behind other streaming platforms in terms of app support, all of that could make the Mi Box a fairly competitive package for less than $100. Current 4K set-top boxes like the Roku 4, Nvidia Shield, and Amazon Fire TV normally sell for $100 or more, while the $150 Apple TV maxes out at 1080p.
For the unfamiliar, Xiaomi rose to prominence in its native country by selling affordable yet high-quality smartphones. It cultivated enough popularity to be dubbed China’s response to Apple, and by 2014 was considered the most valuable tech startup in the world.
All of this has occurred away from Western markets — currently, the company only sells a handful of headphones and USB battery packs in its
US online store. The Mi Box isn’t likely to put Xiaomi on America’s radar the way a good phone might, but it would be the furthest it’s stuck its toes in the West’s water.
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