Lei Jun at Snapdragon Summit: Xiaomi Eyes AI Tech, North America

Xiaomi confirmed it would be the first mobile phone manufacturer to release products based on Snapdragon 845 processor in China. Xiaomi said it also expects other “unique” products next year.

Before the World Internet Conference in Wuzhen officially closed, Qualcomm Technologies opened its second annual Snapdragon Technology Summit in Hawaii. On the first day, Qualcomm Technologies released its flagship Snapdragon 845. Lei Jun, CEO of Xiaomi, the only mobile phone manufacturer that attended the Summit, said that next-gen Xiaomi 7 will be equipped with Snapdragon 845.

Lei said Xiaomi’s AI team is working with Qualcomm Technologies and expecting to display results early next year. He also said Xiaomi would launch a line of “unique” products.

Snapdragon 845 is officially launched

Xiaomi 7 confirmed to be equipped with Snapdragon 845

Qualcomm Technologies will release specific details on its Snapdragon 845 tomorrow, perhaps to pique interests. It’s a given that the Snapdragon 845 will continue to adopt Samsung’s 10nm low power plus technology. The new flagship processor is rumored to combine four semi-custom Cortex-A75 with four Cortex-A55, and to update its GPU to an Adreno 630. An X20 LTE Modem will be integrated so that users can download at speeds of 1.2Gbps. Compared to last-gen products, the 845’s capacities will be improved by 25 percent.

Every time Qualcomm Technologies launches a flagship processor, mobile phone manufacturers compete to be the first to include it. It was reported that Galaxy S9, the latest flagship product of Samsung, would be equipped with the Snapdragon 845 processor and displayed at the International Consumer Electronics Show (CES) next January. Samsung may be the first to launch a mobile phone with the 845 worldwide, but Xiaomi will be the first in China.

The fact that Lei Jun came all the way from Wuzhen to Hawaii in person to support the Summit indicates the close ties between Xiaomi and Qualcomm. Since 2011, when Xiaomi launched its first-gen mobile phones, Qualcomm’s then-flagship MSM 8260 was already installed. Up till now, Xiaomi has sold 238 million mobile phones, all equipped with processors from Qualcomm. It’s no surprise that Qualcomm once said, “The Snapdragon 800 and other such flagship processors won’t come out without Xiaomi’s support.”

Though Xiaomi also cooperated with Nvidia and MediaTek briefly in the last two years, it remains a close partner of Qualcomm. Its cooperation on the 845 is the best proof.

Lei Jun offers his support to Qualcomm in person

Joining hands with Qualcomm Technologies to develop AI for foreign markets

Snapdragon 845 greatly improves its performance and advances AI technology. Lei said Xiaomi’s flagship product will run on the 845 processor. At the same time, Xiaomi’s AI team is also working with Qualcomm Technologies. Results of their cooperation will be integrated in new products released next year. Lei said Xiaomi would launch several “exciting” and “unique” products next year.

In recent years, Chinese mobile phone manufacturers have started to push themselves into oversea markets. Xiaomi is only one of several. Lei said Xiaomi has been expanding abroad very quickly, reaching a growth rate of 300 percent. Xiaomi’s products are imported to 60 countries. It is among the top five enterprises in terms of market share in more than 10 countries where it available.

When interviewed, Lei said Xiaomi is launching some of its products in the US on trial, and considering launching all of its products in the US when the time is ripe. Lei said Xiaomi once met setbacks on its way to globalization due to a delay in market entry and lack of team preparedness. Thus, Xiaomi is adjusting its goal, “targeting one country while learning from the experience before entering another.”

Xiaomi MIX 2

Xiaomi applied for more than 20,000 patents worldwide to strengthen its independent research capabilities.

Patents are one of the challenges to entering overseas markets. Domestic mobile phones makers have more than once been taken advantage of by tech-giants from US and Europe in overseas markets due to a mishandling of patents. To crack the challenge posed by patents, China’s mobile phone manufacturers have to strengthen their independent research capabilities. Xiaomi has applied for 23,732 patents worldwide, with more than 5,756 of these applications approved. Among its approved applications are 102 patents focused on display technology.

This September, Xiaomi launched its second-gen MIX mobile phones, which have a full-screen display and ceramic body. Xiaomi is riding on the trend of Qualcomm Technologies to promote its flagship mobile phones, while at the same time improving its research capabilities. Only when its research capabilities are improved can the enterprise produce key components to participate in overseas markets with fewer obstacles. Xiaomi, Huawei and other Chinese leading enterprises have reached the same conclusion.

This article originally appeared in Geekpark and was translated by Pandaily.