Cast your mind back to Google I/O in May and you might remember seeing a demo or two of Xiaomi’s Android powered Mi Box set-top box. Not much has been heard about it since then, but sources close to Xiaomi suggest that we may finally be nearing a launch date, possibly as soon as next month.
Reportedly, the Mi Box is scheduled to launch in select markets in “early Q4 2016”, which means that we could see the little TV box appear as early as October, just next month. Importantly, the Mi Box was and is still expected to be the company’s first major product launch in the US. Xiaomi has kept tight lipped about the box’s cost so far, but the report suggests that it will be priced at less than $100.
Back in May, Xiaomi talked up the Mi Box’s capabilities, which include 60fps 4K video decoding, HDR support for more vivid colors, and Google’s Android TV 6.0 software, complete with smart search capabilities. The Mi Box also wants to offer Android gaming in the living room with its quad-core Cortex-A53 CPU and Mali 450 GPU processing package. Although that’s unlikely to rival the likes of the NVIDIA Shield TV for performance.
The reason for the seemingly long delay between the announcement of the Mi Box and its launch is hard to pin down. Some speculate that Xiaomi is still stocking up on important patents that are essential for doing business in markets outside of Asia.
There’s still no official word from Xiaomi on the matter, but we imagine that the company won’t want to delay the launch much longer. Sadly, we’ll probably still have to wait even longer before Xiaomi officially launches its first smartphone in the US.