Xiaomi is rolling out a third sub-brand targeted at the offline segment.
Late last year, Xiaomi CEO Lei Jun outlined his vision for the brand in 2017, which included increasing its focus on the offline market. While Xiaomi's online-only business model has worked in the past, the likes of OPPO and Vivo have made huge strides by focusing on the lucrative offline segment by creating a robust distribution network in tier 2 and tier 3 cities in China and India.
And it looks like Xiaomi is doing exactly that. According to Chinese publication MyDrivers, Xiaomi is launching a new smartphone lineup that will be aimed at the offline segment, with the company taking on OPPO and Vivo. The manufacturer has 137 Mi Home stores throughout China, and launching a device that will primarily be sold offline gives it a better chance to compete in this segment.
The third sub-brand will co-exist with the Mi and Redmi devices, and the first phone in the series is rumored to make its debut sometime before the end of July. MyDrivers also obtained a render of the upcoming phone, highlighting a dual camera setup and antenna lines that look eerily similar to that of the OnePlus 5. Not much else is known about the device, but it is likely to sport the same sensors as the Mi 6.
Selling a phone via a retail distribution network creates a lot of overhead, so the upcoming device may not offer the same value for money as the Mi 6 or the entry-level Redmi phones. Xiaomi is instead said to be prioritizing the design over the internal hardware, emulating what OPPO and Vivo have done to great effect in this category. We should know more about the sub-brand in the coming weeks, so stay tuned.