The dependence of smartphone manufacturers on chipset makers is gradually drifting away from the norm. After Apple, Samsung and Huawei it is now Xiaomi that will be joining the elite club of smartphone companies to have ventured into processor self-sufficiency.
The Wall Street Journal reported on Feb 9 about the intended launch, and now, it’s more or less official that, come February 28, and Xiaomi will announce the long awaited “Pinecone” at the Beijing National Convention Center at 2 P.M. China time (1.00 A.M. EST) according to an invite, in Chinese, posted by Xiaomi on its MIUI forums site.
The name Pinecone, however, is not final. It is supposed to be the codename for the processor directly translated from Chinese but for now, it is going by that name.
No information has been made available, yet, on the time frame we are looking at. However, if sources and rumors are to be believed, the Xiaomi 6 due to be announced in March will be Pinecone enabled.
The heavy dependence of device makers on Qualcomm for their processor needs has its disadvantages of higher costs, supply issues, and technical woes as was the case with Snapdragon 810 which had overheating issues. In cases like these, the device companies are left high and dry with not too many options, or rather, hardly any option at their disposal.
Samsung being a major Qualcomm’s chips manufacturer is at an advantage having had access to the Snapdragon 835 for some time now while other device companies have been without that particular option for a quite a bit.
The paradigm shift in the device manufacturers’ approach to processor issues is a healthy pointer of what future smartphones with in-house chipsets will have to offer. Better customization and cost advantage are two probabilities that immediately come to mind.
Pinecone will make Xiaomi the second smartphone company in China to go solo on the chipset front after Huawei.
Xiaomi is a Chinese electronics company based in Beijing and is the fourth largest smartphone manufacturer in the world. Xiaomi Inc not only designs and develops smartphones but also manufactures laptops, phone apps, and other consumer electronics. The company managed to sell more than 60 million smartphones in 2014.
After the release and success of its first smartphone back in 2011 Xiaomi managed to secure a firm foothold in mainland China which allowed it to go into expansion mode. Among other consumer electronics goods, Xiaomi branched out into, was also a smart home IoT (Internet of Things) device ecosystem.
Lei Jun, founder, and CEO of Xiaomi has been ranked the 23rd richest man in China by Forbes.
The company has offices in mainland China, Malaysia, Singapore, and India with over eight thousand employees, mostly in the Chinese mainland, and is planning to spread its wings further to the Philippines, Indonesia, Brazil and South Africa.
After receiving investor funding of $1.1 billion, Xiaomi’s estimated valuation is over $46 billion making it the fourth richest technology start-up in the world. Xiaomi made inroads into the Indian market on the back of flipcart.com in July 2014.