Xiaomi is officially working on its first laptop

China's biggest smartphone maker is officially moving into the laptop market, with a new line of PCs set to debut early next year.

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Xiaomi

Xiaomi has been on a veritable roll since entering the smartphone market in 2010. After just five years of operation, it's been valued at over $45 billion and is the fourth biggest smartphone maker in the world. Now, the innovative Chinese company hopes to recapture that same success in the laptop game, the Taipei Times reports.

On Wednesday Richard Lee, chairman of manufacturer Inventec, confirmed that his company would be assembling Xiaomi's first laptops, which he said would be shipping in the first two quarters of 2016.

"I am upbeat about the business outlook for Xiaomi's notebook computers, as the firm has more than 200 million registered smartphone users" Lee said to reporters in New Taipei City, before adding "we will start shipping Xiaomi's notebook computers in the first or second quarter of next year." Inventec already has an existing relationship with the company, having manufactured its phones in the past.

Xiaomi has made an impact on the smartphone industry by managing to sell near-premium devices at budget prices -- its Mi range retails for under $300 (£195 or AU $430), for instance. Though details on specifications and pricing weren't announced, if the company can replicate the same high-spec, low-cost formula, it could shake up the laptop market.

Though the notebook was made official on Wednesday, it wasn't the first time word of it had circulated. Earlier this month Bloomberg reported that Xiaomi was hoping to produce a laptop range that would compete with Apple's MacBook Air range.

While the company is certainly most known for its Mi smartphones, the notebook won't be its first foray outside of handsets -- the Chinese electronics giant has also made TVs, fitness bands, tablets and, somewhat randomly, an air purifier.

The laptop also is not the first announcement this week detailing Xiaomi's expansion into a new market. On Tuesday the company revealed it would become a mobile virtual network operator with the launch of the Mi Mobile service in China. It will partner with existing telcos, piggybacking on their established infrastructure, to provide SIM cards that will work with both China Mobile and China Unicom, the country's two major providers.

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