Xiaomi is perhaps currently more known for its almost magical smartphones that sell like there’s no tomorrow each and every time. Soon, however, its product portfolio will be so diverse that it might be harder to pin down what Xiaomi really is. The Chinese company has branched out beyond mobile devices, into smart TVs, smart lamps, and even a smart air purifier. Now it’s taking on yet another market, but one that is even more puzzling than the others. Xiaomi is getting into bicycles, but at least they will be smart bicycles.
These type of two-wheeled transportation isn’t exactly new. Last year we actually got to see a lot of them, ranging from electric bikes, to smartphone enabled bikes, to smart wheels for bikes. In China, Xiaomi has invested in a company named IRiding, which will soon be launching a smart bike under a brand named QiCycle. And that bike will be sold on Xiaomi’s e-commerce market. And for a whopping $3,000.
That price tag will surely ruffle more than a few feathers, considering how many smart bikes are easily less than half that. Even with a cornucopia of features, like a carbon fiber build, motion sensors, and battery-assisted, but not dependent, pedaling, it might be hard to justify that expense. Even if the bike connects with the Xiaomi smartphone that you got a price to die for.
But more than the price tag, it is Xiaomi’s business sense that is more in question here. Some analysts see the company as spreading itself too thin. Others, however, believe that Xiaomi is just setting up the stage for an eventual Internet of Things invasion. Indeed, Xiaomi as almost littered the Internet with its products, all of which are, ultimately. connected together via its smartphone.
The proliferation, however, does come at a price. Consumers are said to be confused where Xiaomi’s products ends and where its partners’ begin. The company is rumored to be on the verge of launching a new brand to separate the products it makes itself as well as the “ecosystem” products made by its partners and sold from its stores. The brand will supposedly launch near the end of the month, though Xiaomi has not commented on that rumor yet.
SOURCE: Wall Street Journal