Mi Pad Review: Xiaomi Debuts New iPad Mini Rival (VIDEO)

May 15, 2014 05:15 PM EDT | Matt Mercuro

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Chinese company Xiaomi unveiled its first tablet this week, a device that it believes will help the smartphone maker challenge well-known rivals like Apple and Samsung.

The Mi Pad will have a 7.9-inch screen, comes in six colors, and is approximately the same size as an iPad Mini.

Like most other tablets, the Mi Pad comes equipped with a built-in memory of 16 gigabytes, front and back cameras and wireless internet.

It will come with a plastic case and run on its own Android-based operating system.

The device will be available for just 1,499 yuan ($240) which is less than a number of rival devices like the iPad Mini and Samsung Galaxy Tab, according Reuters.

"We wanted the hardware to come close to, or even surpass Apple's iPad," Xiaomi's founder Lei Jun said at the launch event in Beijing, according to Reuters.

The company's flagship smartphones are among the fastest selling in China. This could be attributed to the fact that they resemble Apple's iPhone.

Xiaomi hasn't said anything yet about a 4G option, according to Reuters.

Lei confirmed that an initial version of the device will be available for testing by the public sometime this June.

He failed to specify a launch date for the Mi Pad however.

The global tablet market saw shipments of 195.4 million devices in 2013. It is expected to grow nearly 40 percent this year, according to Reuters.

"Xiaomi has a different business model than Apple or Samsung," said Ben Thompson, founder of Stratechery.com, according to Reuters. "Apple makes it profits on the hardware, while Xiaomi claims they will make their profits on services."

Xiaomi became the sixth-largest smartphone vendor in the world in the Q1 of 2014, according to data firm Canalys, after doubling its sales.

The company believes it will sell 40 million phones in 2014, compared to 18.7 million in 2013.

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