Seeking new markets, smartphone makers expand into new products
Smartphone brands such as Xiaomi and Honor are releasing a range of new smart devices from laptops to watches to even washing machines to diversify.
Xiaomi, now China's No. 1 smartphone brand, released six new products on Monday, covering watches, noise-reduction headphones, treadmills and an intelligent washing machine.
Xiaomi also released a new category and brand of smartphone, Civi, targeting women, with an enhanced front camera for selfies, a lightweight design and special colors.
It's the first time Xiaomi has specifically targeted women, following its investment in the Meitu, which offers photo and video optimization tools.
The devices were released by Wei Siqi, a female Xiaomi product manager in Beijing, instead of its CEO Lei Jun who usually handles new releases.
With business growth as the world's No. 2 player and domestic market leader, Xiaomi now targets more consumer groups including young women.
Xiaomi has hired more female engineers and researchers to develop the new product line.
The domestic smartphone landscape may face changes and jostling for the top positions.
Firms are tapping into new categories to boost revenue and attract new customers from other brands.
Honor, which spun off from Huawei last year, released several smart devices on Sunday, covering laptops and tablets.
The new devices support "multi-screen" syndication and connection features, as key parts of smart offices and for families.
Besides boosting its smartphone market share, Honor also gained in the domestic laptop market, from 1.4 percent to 6.6 percent by July, Zhao Ming, Honor's president, told an online conference.
"The smart terminal market is facing a new round of technology upgrade, from a single smart terminal experience to a full-scenario smart ecological system," Zhao said.
They require various technologies such as AI, the cloud and connectivity, he added.
In the smartphone segment, Honor boosted its market share to over 16 percent in September, its best since being owned by Huawei.