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  • Meet the MiPad: The Plastic iPad Mini
Technology Articles > Gadgets > Tablets > Meet the MiPad: The Plastic iPad Mini

Chinese smartphone manufacturer, Xiaomi has just unveiled a new tablet that takes directly and purposeful aim at Apple. The tablet is called the MiPad, and will be available for testing in mid-June.

The MiPad comes with features that you might expect from an Apple competitor, but the really interesting thing about this company is that the CEO, Lei Jun, has no qualms about telling press that he is targeting the Apple crowd directly.

Inside the MiPad

The MiPad will come with Internet connectivity capabilities, a front and back camera, 16 or 64 GB memory (the option is up to the user), and will be priced lower than the iPad Mini (the one table that Jun has told press he’s trying to compete against). At $240 for the smaller MiPad, this tablet will be easily affordable. But, will it be anywhere near as good as the iPad Mini?

The MiPad will come with a plastic case, run an Android-based OS, and look roughly like the iPad Mini. Plus, Xiaomi claims that it has a different business model that will set the company apart. Lei Jun tells press that Xiaomi will be focusing on services offered to consumers, which is somewhat different than other tablet manufacturers making profits from hardware alone. The company takes direct aim at Apple, since the iPad Mini is one of the top tablet sellers.

Tablet Sales Are Increasing

There were approximately 195 million tablet devices sold in 2014, and that number is projected to increase by nearly 40% throughout the next year. With Apple taking a large chunk of that market, it’s a wonder that other manufacturers like Xiaomi haven’t tried to steal away some sales sooner. Xiaomi might be successful at taking some of Apple’s pie too. The company is wildly popular in China when it comes to inexpensive phone devices, and making a tablet that’s just as inexpensive is a no-brainer for Xiaomi.

There’s no word yet whether or not the new MiPad will go on sale outside of China, but I’m going to guess that Xiaomi is willing to take that risk. The device will likely sell in China exclusively at first, but it will be sold elsewhere if that market proves successful. For some, the tablet will be available in mid-June. For others, the wait might be a lot longer. There are plenty of tablets on the scene already, but there is room for one more than provides the same experience as an iPad Mini at a fraction of the price. Plus, it will be interested to see what Xiaomi plans to do where services are concerned – and what the company means by stating that they plan to focus on services over products.

There are just a few photos of the MiPad circulating now (see the photo on this page), but the tablet looks interesting enough from this point of view. Would you buy a cheaper version of the iPad? Do you think that there’s room for Xiaomi on the current tablet market?