In a bid to address the smartphone market as broadly as possible, Xiaomi has introduced a number of sub-brands over the years, including Black Shark, Redmi, and Poco. But even with Xiaomi's deep involvement, those brands aren't necessarily meant to always stay tied to their parent company, it would seem. Effective immediately, Xiaomi is spinning of POCO entirely, transforming it into an independent company and will now have its own strategy that will not depend on Xiaomi.

So far, Poco has released only one smartphone, the Pocophone F1. The handset was launched in 2018 and offered a rather competitive combination of specifications and price. In the recent days rumors transpired that the Pocophone F2 was in the works and its launch was imminent. Around the same time, Xiaomi announced the spin off.

Manu Kumar Jain, VP of Xiaomi, said the following:

“Poco F1 is an extremely popular phone across user groups, and remains a top contender in its category even in 2020. We feel the time is right to let Poco operate on its own now, which is why we’re excited to announce that Poco will spin off as an independent brand,”

It is not completely clear how ownership of Poco will be structured. Meanwhile, as a separate entity, Poco will inevitably compete against Xiaomi, but it looks like both entities are prepared for that.

In the recent years Xiaomi has consistently introduced new categories of products in a bid to build up its own ecosystem and not only increase its ARPU (average revenue per user), but also attract new clients with new devices. And while Poco will initially target smartphones and other mobile devices, the overall small size of the firm and its product portfolio means that competition from this brand should not significantly affect Xiaomi’s business, at lease initially.

What remains to be seen is what exactly will Poco inherit from Xiaomi. Today, Poco uses Xiaomi's MIUI and some other software, so it will be interesting to see whether as a separate company Poco will develop its own UI and applications, or will continue to use something from Xiaomi.

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Source: TechCrunch

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  • valinor89 - Wednesday, January 22, 2020 - link

    Does this mean existing phones will no longer be supported by Xiaomi? There is a big ecosystem behind the Xiaomi phones, and would suck if existing F1 owners were cut from that, the least of wich is the actual Xiaomi stores that have been popping up where I live or the local webstores.
  • drexnx - Wednesday, January 22, 2020 - link

    what advantage do they get from spinning them off? there isn't even a "refocus on core competency" angle to play up here.
  • Retycint - Wednesday, January 22, 2020 - link

    To distinguish themselves from the Redmi line, possibly. The K20/K30 line is already delivering flagship specs for midrange prices, and making Poco a separate brand with its own design provides more options without diluting the brand identity of Redmi/Xiaomi
  • fazalmajid - Wednesday, January 22, 2020 - link

    The Pocofone F1 offers amazing value for the price, has outstanding battery life, and is fully supported by LineageOS, the Google-free, spyware-free fork of Android. I gave my dad one when his Windows Phone reached end-of-life. I hope Poco will work with the LineageOS community to provide support on its newer phones.
  • Alistair - Wednesday, January 22, 2020 - link

    Sounds like Xiaomi needs an urgent infusion of cash.
  • valinor89 - Friday, January 24, 2020 - link

    As far as I understand they will get no inmediate cahs from this, they are not selling it to someone else. They are spinning up a company from scratch arrount the Pocophone brand. If anything this will cost them money on the short term.
  • zodiacfml - Thursday, January 23, 2020 - link

    I believe design philosophy of the F1 will remain, flagship or high end SoC, LCD display, and plastic backs which I welcome very much.
  • flyingpants265 - Thursday, January 23, 2020 - link

    Open aliexpress right now, make an account if necessary, and type in "Realme X".

    $151.99 USD, 6.53" full screen, 4GB RAM, 64GB storage, 48mp dual camera, VOOC fast charging, USB-C and HEADPHONE JACK. I think this thing just established a new minimum for performance and features. There's no reason to get 'less than' this anymore.

    This is only $152. It's less than half the price of the Pocophone. I'm not seeing a downside here, besides the motorized popup cam thing which is also on the $600+ Oneplus device.
  • flyingpants265 - Thursday, January 23, 2020 - link

    "Pocophone" is Xiaomi's knock-off version of the OnePlus.
    "Realme" is BBK's (Oneplus) knockoff of Xiaomi, they have lots of teardrop phones.

    Realme should just sell Realmes in the USA, I wouldn't mind having a cheap all-screen phone available.
  • Richlet - Saturday, January 25, 2020 - link

    Xiaomi said the same thing last year or the year before about Redmi. They're still going to be Xiaomi phones, using MIUI, I'm certain of that.

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