Xiaomi, The Company That Sold More Phones Than Apple In China, Launched Its First Tablet

Xiaomi, the popular smartphone maker in China, released its first tablet today, the 7.9-inch Mi Pad.

It has a striking resemblance to Apple’s iPad Mini. Here it is:

The Mi Pad’s screen has the same resolution as the iPad Mini with Retina display (2048 x 1536 pixels), and runs Xiaomi’s modified version of Android called MIUI. Since a lot of Google services are banned in China, Xiaomi has to alter Android with its own apps for mapping, email, messaging, etc.

This time though, Xiaomi designed MIUI to look a lot like iOS 7, the operating system for iPhones and iPads that got a new, colourful look last year.

The Mi Pad will also come in a bunch of different colours. It will cost the equivalent of about $US240. Like the iPhone 5C, the colours of the operating system match the outside body.

It looks like the iPhone 5C and iPad Mini had a baby:

Xiaomi is one of the buzziest mobile companies at the moment. It makes high quality Android smartphones, but sells them at steep discounts. Fans in China love them, and new models often sell out within minutes. This year, Xiaomi plans to expand its business outside China to countries like Brazil and Russia.

This month, research firm Canalys said Xiaomi had a higher smartphone market share than Apple in China, making Xiaomi the third-largest smartphone maker in the country behind Samsung and Lenovo.

A lot of people call Xiaomi “The Apple of China,” not just because its products look like Apple’s, but because it elicits the same fervor and fanboyism Apple does in Western countries. Xiaomi launch events are often packed with screaming fans. And the company’s CEO, Lei Jun, mimics Steve Jobs’ style on stage with jeans and a black shirt.

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