Xiaomi recently became the third largest smartphone manufacturer in the world, and it now has plans for global expansion. One way the company plans to achieve global popularity is through low-priced devices that perform very well. As such, Xiaomi is reportedly working on a 9.2" tablet that is said to have performance that's akin to Apple's iPad Mini, yet costs only $100.
The company intends to use the Snapdragon 410 SoC, which got a significant boost in performance thanks to the switch to ARMv8 architecture and the new Cortex A53 core design. The chip will also come with an Adreno 306, which has also improved over the Adreno 305 in the Snapdragon 400. Although the GPU is not a high-end one, it will only have to support a 720p resolution. That actually seems like a reasonable compromise given the low price.
The device will also have 1 GB of RAM and 8 GB of storage, which isn't too much, but it's what we currently get on devices such as the $180 Moto G, which is considered to have a good value for the price. In fact, with the larger screen and faster processor, all for a significantly lower price, the Xiaomi tablet looks to offer even bigger bang for your buck than the Moto G. Of course, one is a phone and the other is a tablet, but the type of components both are using is essentially the same.
Xiaomi is already highly successful in China, has aggressively entered the Indian market, and is now expanding in regions such as Russia, Brazil and other parts of South America. These are markets that are ripe for the picking by low-cost $100 smartphones or tablets that perform very well. Most of the customers buying such products are not going to care about all the bells and whistles, as long the devices are reliable and "just work."
As an already-large smartphone maker, and with the ability to make quality low-cost products, Xiaomi represents a threat to Apple, but more so to Samsung, which has already seen a significant decline in sales and an even sharper decline in profits. Those profits were probably lost through a combination of expensive yet ineffective marketing campaigns and fierce competition from lesser known brands that undercut the company significantly on prices.
Some developed markets, where customers tend to buy from known brands, will be difficult for Xiaomi to access, but the highest sales growth happens in emerging markets these days. Thus, Xiaomi's success could increase over the next few years if the company sticks to the same low-cost/high-value strategy, while also strengthening its brand globally.