Xiaomi asked art majors to help design its latest smartphones

Posted at 8:07 AM, Jun 24, 2019
and last updated 2019-06-24 10:07:33-04

One of China’s biggest tech companies is launching a newsmartphone line that is designed by art majors and aimed at young shoppers.

Xiaomi announced the Mi CC smartphone series — which CEO Lei Jun referred to as a “trendy mobile phone for young people” — on Friday. The CC stands for “camera + camera,” a reference to a dual camera system.

Mi is one of several brands owned by Xiaomi, currently the world’s fourth largest smartphone seller behind Samsung, Huawei and Apple.

The company also makes a range of products including home appliances and smart TVs.

The new Mi CC smartphones are “designed to be a flagship for photography and selfies with both front and back cameras,” Xiaomi said in a statement. The phones will use a photo algorithm developed in partnership with viral selfie app Meitu.

The phone was designed by “one of the youngest product teams in Xiaomi, among which half are art majors and are dedicated to creating a trendy design for young consumers,” it said.

A Xiaomi spokesperson said it will hold a launch event for the new smartphone series in China on July 2, but declined to comment on wider rollout plans or reveal how much the phone will cost.

This is not the first time Xiaomi has targeted products specifically at young people. Last year, it launched a smartwatch for children.

The Chinese firm’s latest push comes as its biggest domestic competitor faces immense pressure from a US campaign against its business. Huawei’s smartphone sales have suffered and its rollout of 5G technology has slowed since the United States last month placed it on an export blacklist that bars American companies from selling it components without a license.

Like Huawei, Xiaomi has made a big international push in recent years, opening several new smartphone factories in India — where it has knocked Samsung off the top spot — and adding new stores and products in European markets such as France, Italy and Spain.