Now you see Mi, now you don't: Xiaomi drops unnecessary name in quest to enhance global brand awareness
The Mi brand has been used by Xiaomi since the launch of MIUI in August 2010, which was followed by the company’s first smartphone, the Mi 1, shortly afterwards. The firm rapidly gained popularity in its domestic market of China, selling millions of handsets a year by the time the Mi 3 made an appearance (2013). Since then, the Mi range has gone from strength to strength, with both the Mi 10 series and Mi 11 lineup consisting of some very impressive premium smartphones. But it appears “Mi” has now become surplus to requirements in Xiaomi’s ongoing plans for global dominance.
According to a report from XDA Developers, a Xiaomi spokesperson has made it clear that “Mi” has been dropped and future releases from the Chinese OEM will be branded with the "Xiaomi" name and the relevant model number or product name. While we were all looking forward to the innovations promised by the release of the “Mi” Mix 4, it was mostly overlooked that the Mi trade name had actually been removed, leaving the 2021 smartphone simply called the Xiaomi Mix 4 or Mix 4 for short. The Mi 11T that has been reported on frequently as of late should also bear the new branding scheme –so just Xiaomi 11T this time round.
Xiaomi recently coughed up the equivalent of over US$300,000 to have its well-known orange Mi logo changed from a square to a “squircle”, so obviously the company’s coffers are in a healthy state if it’s just going to go ahead and change a brand it’s been wielding successfully for over a decade now. There is some logic behind the move – Xiaomi is popular in almost every regional market around the world but North America is still waiting to be properly tapped. If the Chinese company is planning a product assault on US shoppers, it would be wise to establish the single “Xiaomi” brand name now to avoid unnecessary confusion further on down the line.