Tag Archives: Smart home

Xiaomi’s bold ambition

Apple and Samsung are facing intense competition from Beijing-based smartphone maker Xiaomi. That’s because Xiaomi smartphones have become worthy opponents of the iPhone and the Galaxy phones. With high-tech specs such as, a 2.3GHz Snapdragon 800 chipset, a 13MP camera, 2GB of RAM, 16GB of internal storage and a 5-inch 1080p resolution display, Xioami smartphones are increasingly becoming a favourite of consumers looking for solid hardware at an affordable price. According to a new report from Gartner, Xiaomi is now the fourth biggest seller of smartphones worldwide with sales of more than 18 million units in the third quarter of 2014. A recent regulatory filing also showed that Xiaomi made a profit of $56.1 million in 2013. It is also worth noting that Xiaomi recently hired Hugo Barra, former Vice President of Android Product Management at Google to be in charge of the company’s products and operations in all markets outside of Mainland China.

In addition to its smartphone business, Xiaomi has diversified its product line to include air purifiers, fitness bands, routers, blood pressure measurement kit, battery packs, a smart TV and others. Today it announced a $203.7 million investment in Midea, a Chinese company that manufactures smart appliances. The funding underscores Xioami’s ambitions to be a major player in the smart home space. You can read about the funding here.

Smart home revolution

The idea of a smart home used to be reserved for sci-fi movies, but tech companies like Google’s Nest Labs, Apple, Revolv, Philips, Samsung’s SmartThings and others are all making sure that the smart home becomes a reality. Thanks to a profusion of connected appliances, light bulbs, security cameras, locks and their respective apps, the smart home revolution is certainly upon us. What’s more, according to Lisa Arrowsmith of market research firm IHS, the smart home is “heading towards a mass-market reality”, with the smartphone being at the centre of the development. As tech titans like Google, Samsung and Apple all scramble to create mass-market devices that will be as smart as our phones, investors are likewise hoping to profit from the phenomenon. Recent fundings in the smart home space include a $4.9M Series-A round for Spark Labs, $13.6M for Tado, a $30M Series B round for IFTTT, and $1.7M for Zuli. A few days ago, Keen Home, a NYC-based startup developing connected home products, raised $1.52M in seed funding.