Bin Lin (right)
Taipei, June 16 (CNA) Chinese smartphone maker Xiaomi Corp. said Monday that it is preparing to release its first 4G-enabled handsets to cash in on the newly launched Long-Term Evolution (LTE) networks in China and Taiwan.
"Our research and development on 4G phones is in full swing," Xiaomi co-founder and President Bin Lin said at a press conference to announce the launch of a 3G 5.5-inch phone-tablet in Taiwan.
"We are hoping to launch 4G phones as soon as possible and will bring them to Taiwanese consumers to improve their Web browsing and user experience," Lin said. He declined to give a timetable for the launch.
The executive said the mobile industry is moving rapidly toward the development of super-fast 4G wireless broadband and that his company will also capitalize on the LTE network in Taiwan and the TD-LTE network in China.
Xiaomi, which aims to more than triple its smartphone shipments to 60 million units this year from 18.7 million units last year, established a partnership that same day with Taiwan-based Web portal PChome Online Inc. to sell an enhanced version of the Redmi Note budget handset. The 3G device costs only NT$4,999 (US$166).
The four-year-old company became the fifth-largest smartphone maker in its home market in the final quarter of 2013, standing out among China's crop of young homegrown handset brands thanks to the lower prices of its products, according to data from Chinese research firm Analysys.
(By Arnaud Campagne and Jeffrey Wu)