Did anyone suggest Xiaomi could follow LeEco’s suit, starting to run out of cash just as it finally looked to expand into the US smartphone market? Not that we’re aware of, but International VP and former Google product manager Hugo Barra wants to preclude such ominous speculation by highlighting the company’s recent mobile sales declines won’t impact its key “revenue streams.”
Barra in fact claims Xiaomi doesn’t really make money off affordable handsets like the Redmi 4, Mi Note 2 or Mi 5s, let alone the “conceptual” Mi MIX, and even if it sold 10 billion of all those, it “wouldn’t make a single dime in profits.”
Valued at no more than $46 billion upon receiving $1.1B funding at the end of 2014, the Chinese designer and developer of laptops, wearables and various smart home products feels “no pressing need to do an IPO or even a private round.”
That’s precisely due to the success of lucrative devices like air and water purifiers, intelligent rice cookers, scales or vacuums, as well as “recurring” software revenue.
Interestingly enough, a rumor completely unrelated to Hugo Barra’s statements calls for the imminent launch of a low-cost Xiaomi Mi 5c phone with, surprise, surprise, a “home-cooked” processor codenamed Pinecone.
While an aggressive in-house mobile SoC push similar to, say, Samsung’s Exynos program is highly unlikely, it would still be surprising to see Xiaomi commercialize its own system-on-a-chip domestically before bringing a phone stateside.