China’s Xiaomi is considering the launch of its first laptop in early 2016, with components sourced from Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd., Bloomberg reported Wednesday, citing people familiar with direct knowledge of the plan.
Xiaomi’s entry, especially if it extends its high-end-features-for-low-prices strategy to the laptop, will ratchet up pressure on established laptop brands in a shrinking PC market. Xiaomi, which entered the smartphone scene only five years ago, upended that market at home to soon become the top smartphone vendor in China, and is now expanding into India, Indonesia, Brazil and the African continent.
The company may eventually enter the U.S. market, and a laptop adds to its portfolio of products to take on Apple Inc. For now, Xiaomi sells a small number of accessories on its own online storefront in the U.S.
Xiaomi is in discussions with Samsung to extend an initial agreement for memory chip supply to include displays, Bloomberg reported. Xiaomi already sources components for its smartphones from Samsung, including camera units and batteries.
Expanding its component business to supply Xiaomi will also boost Samsung’s profits at a time when the world’s largest smartphone maker isn’t selling as many of its flagship Galaxy S6 Android smartphone as it originally anticipated. The lackluster demand has also forced Samsung to cut prices on the premium handset.
Meanwhile, Xiaomi’s laptop could also have takers in India -- the company’s largest market after China and its most promising one for the future.
The Chinese company recently began assembling some smartphones in India and chose to release the global edition of the latest version of its Mi user interface software from New Delhi, on Aug. 19. Xiaomi has also released one of its smartphones, Mi 4i, from India, the only global launch it has made so far outside China.