Just in. Hugo Barra briefing the MI community on Xiaomi’s plans to release a smartwatch:
It would be absolutely crazy if you saw all the things we experiment with here at Xiaomi. Of course we’ve experimented with smartwatches, and other crazy things. We haven’t decided yet, that we are ready to launch a smartwatch. I think that decision is something that we are making in the next few months. We’re definitely looking for input from the community. No solid plans, but we’re thinking about it.
Why not? Mobile phones are fading. The next wave of technology is all about wearables. No doubt, the MI community is agog right now by what is obviously (forget about the equivocation) a declaration of intent, coming from Hugo Barra himself.
Now the world’s third largest maker of smartphones, part of the chinese company’s meteoric rise was due to its ability to cultivate and maintain a rabidly enthusiastic community of users whose contributions influenced the first iterations of the MI OS and product decisions when Lei Jun’s small team eventually made the planned jump to hardware. Getting Hugo Barra, formerly Android top gun from Google, to join the company in 2013 was both a technical and cultural coup (he was already a celebrity in the MI community on account of his prominent role in building Android) that in part accounts for Xiaomi’s unstoppable global tear into an arena that was once dominated by OEMs who are multiple decades old.