While the Mi Note 2 maybe hogging the rumor mills, Xiaomi is reportedly gearing up to launch a new product before the upcoming smartphone. According to teaser on the company’s Weibo account, Xiaomi will be launching a new product tomorrow in China. While it doesn’t specifically say so, this product is believed to be a mechanical keyboard. Also Read - Redmi Note 10 price goes up again: Rs 500 extra for 6GB RAM variant going forwardAlso Read - Get Xiaomi Mi 11 Lite at a discounted price of Rs 18,999: How to grab the deal
According to reports, Xiaomi is focusing on China’s growing gaming market and plans to launch an affordable mechanical keyboard. Now this isn’t the first time we are hearing of a Xiaomi keyboard, and there have been murmurs since the past year. In fact past rumors have claimed that this keyboard will undercut rivals with a price tag of RMB 199, which is approximately Rs 2,000. It was rumored that the reason the company didn’t launch the keyboard before is because it didn’t find an appropriate hardware partner. The interesting bit here though is that while the keyboard is being marketed by Xiaomi, it won’t have the Mi branding. Instead, it will only be leveraged on the company’s MIJIA crowdfunding platform.
Mechanical keyboards have long been revered by gamers, and once you have upgraded to one of these keyboards, it becomes difficult to return to standard membrane keyboards. Membrane keyboards feature three plastic membranes and rubber dome-shaped switches underneath each key. When you press a key, the rubber switch pushes through a hole in the middle membrane to connect the top and bottom membranes, which creates an electrical circuit that causes the keyboard to send the input to your PC. Mechanical keyboards are more simpler, and essentially include physical switches underneath the keys, so when you press a particular key, you press the switch down too that sends a signal. Simple though it may seem, mechanical keyboards not only let you type faster, but are more accurate and last longer than standard keyboards as well.
According to reports, China’s gaming industry has crossed $7.1 billion in revenues, and in the process it has become bigger than the likes of US and Japan. In fact, no country spends more on mobile games than China. In this scenario, it comes as hardly a surprise that Xiaomi is targeting the gamers with an affordable gaming keyboard.
Though mobile devices continue to be the primary driver of revenues, Xiaomi’s ecosystem of other products have continued to steadily grow. Most of its products are focused on the Internet of Things (IoT) space with the likes of the Mi Air Purifier, Mi Rice Cooker, Mi Kettle, Mi Robot Vacuum and Mi Water Purifier to name a few. Xiaomi’s ecosystem though also offers a range of other products like umbrellas, screwdriver, and pens among others. ALSO READ: From Portable Mosquito Repeller to Ninebot Mini; 10 Xiaomi smart products we want in India
With the smartphone space seeing a slowdown though, you would expect Xiaomi s ecosystem to make up for it to an extent. But the truth is its IoT ecosystem hasn t lived up to expectations either. Of the $12.5 billion revenue last year, Xiaomi s ecosystem only contributed around $750 million. In other words, Xiaomi s smartphones still made up for 90 percent of the revenues. Analysts believe that at the current run rate, it would take Xiaomi s IoT products over five years to get close to smartphone sales. RELATED: Xiaomi is not becoming the next Samsung: Hugo Barra