Chinese tech giant Xiaomi has exploded in recent times, becoming the largest phone maker in both Europe and the world—all without a significant presence in the US. Most people know the company for its “Mi” range of devices, but it will be phasing out that sub-brand later this year.
In a statement to XDA Developers, a Xiaomi spokesperson said, “Starting in 2021 Q3, Xiaomi’s product series ‘Mi’ will be renamed to ‘Xiaomi.'”
“This change will unify our global brand presence and close the perception gap between the brand and its products. This change may take some time to take effect in all regions.”
There were some who predicted such a move was on the cards after Xiaomi launched the latest in its Mi Mix series with the name “Xiaomi Mix 4,” dropping the “Mi” branding used in the previous Mix handsets.
Xiaomi’s first-ever smartphone, the Mi 1, was launched back in 2011. Company co-founder and CEO Lei Jun said it stands for “Mobile Internet” and “Mission Impossible.”
The name change was likely prompted by Xiaomi’s stratospheric rise this year. It replaced Apple as the world’s second-largest smartphone vendor in July, and it took Samsung’s position as the top phone vendor in Europe a month later. A few weeks ago, Xiaomi gained the ultimate title: the largest smartphone vendor globally, its 17.1% market share beating Samsung’s 15.7%.
Now that the Xiaomi name is becoming more familiar, it probably felt the time was right to drop the Mi branding—many of its Mi phones are listed as just Xiaomi (or “小米”) in China, anyway.
The Redmi and POCO names aren’t changing. The company says Xiaomi products “represent the pinnacle of technology and offer a premium experience,” while the Redmi products “bring big innovation at a more accessible price point and are aimed at a younger audience.”
Xiaomi added that the naming system “will also be applied to our ecosystem and IoT products over time.”