In 2013, the crowded smartphone market of China has seen a new entrant by the name Smartisan. Unlike other manufacturers, Smartisan announced their own smartphone OS based on Android a year before launching its first smartphone. The Smartisan T1 was company’s first ever smartphone launched in May 2014 running on Smartisan OS. While all the brands are looking to make their device affordable, the Smartisan T1 with high-end specifications was priced at around $500. It was designed by Robert Brunner, the ex-designer of Beats.
Later in 2015, the company also launched affordable Smartisan U1 and the flagship Smartisan T2. The Smartisan T2 came with the Smartisan OS 2.0 out of the box. There is no app drawer, much like the other Chinese custom ROMs. The Smartisan devices come with two volume rockers placed on left and right edges. The user can customize the either one for volume and the second one for brightness. If you are an Android user, try the Smartisan OS design by installing their launcher from the below link.
Since the Smartisan smartphones are limited to China, there isn’t much buzz around their devices. Though the company hasn’t scaled up as much as OnePlus, it has a small respectable market share. The company is said to be low on funds and has approached Alibaba in the first half of 2016, but there is no advancement till date. According to Chinese analysts, now Xiaomi is said to be interested in acquiring Smartisan. Interestingly, Meizu showed interest to acquire Smartisan in 2014, even before their debut, but Luo Yonghao, CEO of Smartisan rejected the offer.
In between all this, a couple of months back, there are also rumors that the LeEco will be buying out the Smartisan. But the company announced the Coolpad’s investment at that time. While there is no confirmation over this, Xiaomi is looking to push the Mi line up as premium devices. In this case, the Smartisan acquisition will help them to acquire a bigger market share in the premium segment. The Redmi series will be focused on making the affordable devices. As the smartphone penetration in China has slowed down, there isn’t much growth for Xiaomi in the last few quarters.
The company also brought the premium t.tt domain for $325,000
Last year, Xiaomi even failed to achieve its revised yearly targets. While the company has a strong foothold in online segment, the lack of strong offline presence is affecting the market share. Recently, the company also diversified its product catalog; it even launched a ball pen and mosquito repeller. As of now, Xiaomi is all set to launch its latest flagship device Mi 5S along with new Smart TVs on September 27th in China. There is a small chance that we may hear some information regarding their acquisition on that launch stage.
Smartisan will also launch its upcoming smartphone Smartisan T3 in the next few months. The leaks suggest the device to come powered by Snapdragon 821 SoC and 6GB RAM. So stay tuned on Phone Radar for more details in the coming days!