Is Xiaomi, a Chinese mobile phone manufacturer, going to launch a set-top box of its own? Word out of China is that Xiaomi already has a prototype.
“Xiaomi is an internet company, and TV set-top-boxes will be using the internet [streaming] as a main selling point. As far as integration with the Xiaomi phone is concerned, it will have a feature like Apple’s Airplay,” an anonymous source told Sina Tech
Xiaomi is known more for being able to churn out affordable smartphones for the masses, so perhaps it won’t surprise anyone if the same company will be able to deliver an affordable set-top box. There are quite a few Android-powered set-top boxes right now on the market, and the Vizio Co-Star is among the more popular boxes.
Vizio’s Android-powered set-top box is currently going for $99, but can Xiaomi make a quality box that is cheaper? Apple is also currently selling the Apple TV set-top box for $99, but some people just don’t have that taste for the iOS flavor.
(This box [via eBay] features Android 4.0, 1.2GHz Cortex A8, and 1GB of RAM. It costs $63.99, but the brand is unknown)
When it’s all said and done, however, Xiaomi’s main market is still China. eBay has plenty of cheap Android set-top boxes for around $60-70, but these are literally “unknown” branded hardware. It would be nice to see a cheap Xiaomi set-top box floating around, even if Xiaomi doesn’t intend for its product to extend beyond the Great Wall.