While us tech fans are closely following the updates of forthcoming Apple products on the basis that we’re interested in what new technologies the company may be including, others are digging around for clues on the design so they can continue coming through with cheaper, knockoff options. Xiaomi, a Chinese outfit famed for continually churning out somewhat plausible iPhone replicas, has just launched its first tablet, and unsurprisingly, it’s a dead ringer for Apple’s iPad mini.
One vital ingredient often missing from these knock-off Apple products – aside from build quality and most of the internal hardware components – is the lack of the iOS software. It won’t come as much of a surprise, then, that the Mi Pad – yes, they actually called it that – runs on Google’s Android as opposed Apple’s own closed-off ecosystem.
But hey, in the nature of keeping things fake, a minor detail like the OS shouldn’t get in the way, and the Xiaomi team has sought to offer a vaguely genuine experience by packing an iOS 7-like theme off the bat. Sure, it won’t be enough to convince most geeks that it’s a genuine iPad mini, but nevertheless, in a world where fashion is often given precedence over the quality of the tech itself, the Mi Pad will surely sell in high numbers when it launches in China.
Like most rip-off products these days, the internal hardware specs aren’t actually all that bad. The slate offers a very reasonable, better-than-HD 2048 x 1536 display which, as many of you may have realized, is identical to that of the iPad mini with Retina display, and with a 2.2GHz NVIDIA K1 processor allied to 2 gigs of RAM, it should actually run Android KitKat without too much incident.
One has to wonder how long Apple will continue to let this company sell goods that so flagrantly rip off its own, particularly given its apparent plans to expand into other emerging markets like Brazil and India.
Still, in the meantime, I think you’ll agree that seeing the company’s CEO Lei Jun even go so far as to impersonate the late Steve Jobs with his trainers, jeans, polo-neck attire is pure comedy gold, and given the Mi Pad’s $240 price tag, one has to wonder for how long Tim Cook’s legal team will continue to ignore what is a very obvious threat to business.
More details on the Mi Pad can be found at: mi.com/mipad