XiaoMi announced their newest flagship, the Mi3, on September 5th. They are going to be producing the Mi3 with two different chipsets. The Tegra 4 version will be carried by China Mobile with TS-CDMA connectivity. XiaoMi is also constructing a Snapdragon 800 variant designed to run on China’s WCDMA/GSM network. The problem is, however, that the company has not even begun production of the Snapdragon 800 version. While XiaoMi’s CEO Lei Jun has confirmed that the Tegra 4 Mi3 will be available for purchase on October 15th, the Snapdragon 800 variant will not be marketed in the near future.
XiaoMi’s co-founder and vice president Zhou Guang Ping said that production of the Snapdragon 800 Mi3 has not even started yet. The reason for the delay is that the Snapdragon 800 SoC they are using is not ready for the device yet. Current devices powered by a Snapdragon 800 chip are running the MSM8974 version. XiaoMi is currently working on putting the MSM8974AB, also known as the MSM8974Pro, in their Mi3 flagship device. They haven’t yet completed work on getting the Mi3 up and running with the MSM8974Pro and that is the reason why this version of the device has been delayed, according to Chinese tech site MyDrivers.
The XiaoMi Mi3 will have a standard 5-inch 1080p Full HD display, 2 GB of RAM, and a huge 13-megapixel rear-facing camera. It will be (hopefully) powered by a Snapdragon 800 MSM8974AB chip or a Tegra 4 chipset, depending on which network it is going to be running on. The bad news for anyone outside China is that this smartphone will not be available to you. Rumours say that it is unlikely that a U.S. compatible version will ever be available. The XiaoMi Mi3 Tegra 4 model will be available for RMB 1,999 (about $326) for the 16 GB model and RMB 2,499 (about $408) for the 64GB version.
XiaoMi runs a custom version of Android on its handsets, called MIUI. Former Google executive Hugo Barra, who now works for the manufacturer hopes to help XiaoMi break out of Chinese smartphone market and make a bigger impact on the rest of the world markets. XiaoMi only sells its handsets on its website, and only produces enough phones for expected demand. Doing business this way allows them to keep overhead low, but also creates supply issues because customers buy out their popular and inexpensive handsets almost as soon as they become available.
[Image via jtgeek]