Microsoft apps to come preinstalled on Xiaomi phones as firms ink “long term partnership”


Xiaomi, China’s leading smartphone maker has signed an agreement with Microsoft that will see the two companies cross license patents.

The deal will see some of Microsoft’s most popular apps, including Office and Skype preinstalled on some of its Android devices from September 2016.

The Xiaomi devices earmarked to feature the Microsoft apps include the Mi 4s, Mi 5, Mi Max, Redmi 3 and Redmi Note 3.

The agreement was announced by Xiaomi VP Hugo Barra on Twitter earlier today.

“We are excited to be working closely with Microsoft on a broad technology collaboration partnership,” said a statement from Xiaomi.

“As demonstrated by this agreement with Microsoft, Xiaomi is looking to build sustainable, long-term partnerships with global technology leaders, with the ultimate goal of bringing the best user experience to our Mi fans.”

Commenting on the partnership, Microsoft said, “People want their favorite apps and experiences to work seamlessly on the device of their choice, and that’s exactly what this partnership offers.”

Neither party has discussed the financial terms of the partnership, which will see Microsoft sell almost 1,500 patents to Xiaomi.

Xiaomi has been the top smartphone manufacturer in China since 2014 where it is known for selling affordable high specs phones.

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Xiaomi says it has been able to keep costs down, and pass these onto the consumer, due to its online and ‘flash’ sales strategy.

The company also sells its devices in India and as sales have grown it is how beginning to sell its smartphones in other countries, as well as adding traditional bricks and mortar stores.

However, it is faced with market saturation in its homeland where more opportunity for growth is limited. In terms of global sales, it remains some way behind other Chinese smartphone makers such as Huawei, Oppo and Vivo, all of which have stronger sales outside of China.

The agreement with Microsoft over patents could be what Xiaomi needs to help expand into the United States and markets across Europe.



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