Xiaomi feels the crisis, 900 jobs cut while revenues fall

Xiaomi feels the crisis, 900 jobs cut while revenues fall

Xiaomi feels the crisis

The world economic situation is not the best. Between the Covid-19 pandemic from which we are slowly recovering, the commodity crisis and the war in Ukraine, the world is going through an extremely difficult period and the global economy is clearly suffering from it, both in local contexts and on a macroscopic scale.

Xiaomi is not immune to all of this and, according to an article published in South China Morning Post, the company would have cut its workforce following a large decline in revenues.

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These cuts would be a direct consequence of the crisis that is hitting Xiaomi as well as many other companies, which have found themselves in an extremely complex global economic context. The turnover in the second quarter of this year (Q2 2022) would have stopped at 70.2 billion yuan (about 10.3 billion euros), a decrease of 20% compared to the same period last year. This decline would be greater than that already recorded in the first quarter.

The blow suffered by the brand is clearly visible looking at the net profit, which would not have met the estimates. Compared to the 8.3 billion yuan of the same period last year, Xiaomi would have brought "only" 1.4 billion yuan to the company's coffers, a decrease of 83.5%.

"In This quarter, our industry has faced many challenges, including rising global inflation, exchange rate fluctuations [and] the complex political environment, "Xiaomi President Wang Xiang said during a conference call after the release. of the results. “These challenges had a significant impact on overall market demand and our financial results for the period.”

Xiaomi's smartphone segment revenues fell by 28.5%, from 59.1 billion yuan in the second quarter of last year to 42.3 billion yuan in the same period of this year, mainly due to the decline in sales. Smartphone shipments fell 26.2% in the quarter, mainly due to global macroeconomic changes and the reappearance of Covid-19 in mainland China, the company said in its results report.

All about Xiaomi Smart Speaker

Frankly, smart speakers have started showing its age and the novelty factor in general has diminished. You can, of course, stream music, get weather updates and a few other things but nothing that can make you purchase “another” smart speaker. In case you have one from 2018-19, I am sure it’s serving you well.

This is where Xiaomi has worked its way to people’s hearts. Instead of incremental changes, Xiaomi is sort of saying that their new smart speaker is actually smart. We agree. It’s very smart. Unlike the options available in this category, Xiaomi Smart Speaker with IR Control can actually make traditional devices around the house slightly smarter. How? Read on.

IR master-blaster

Smart speakers connect with the Wi-Fi and then other smart devices that are connected on the same network can be worked upon. For example, I can control the smart light that’s Wi-Fi enabled or my smart TV. That’s not new.

Xiaomi makes all the difference with IR technology. There are many devices around the house that supports IR or infrared remote controls. For example, the AC in your room. It’s a simple remote control that lets you play with a few modes, turn up/down the temperature or switch off the device.

What if the speaker can do all this? And it does. This is meaningful technology. At night, I want to turn down my AC with a simple voice command instead of having to fumble around for the remote control. My fan too is remote controlled, which is such a problem when autumn gives way to winter. I need to constantly change the speed of the fan using the remote control.

Since there is support for IR technology, I can give simple voice commands to the smart speaker and voila.

Simple set-up

That, of course, brings us to the question of set-up. It’s quite simple actually. In the box is the speaker and the power cable, which, sadly, is not USB-C. After connecting the speaker to the power outlet, download two apps — Xiaomi Home App as well as Google Home app. This is, after all, a Google Assistant-driven speaker. With the Google app I can have full control over the smart assistant while the Xiaomi Home App lets me control the IR functions. There are several “remotes” within the app to choose from and it took me a few minutes to find a suitable match. After that, a simple voice command can take care of all the changes required to other devices.

Google or Alexa?

I have no issues with Alexa but I always feel that Google Assistant has an edge. First, Google spends a lot of money to make the digital assistant smart, plus it has deep integration with Google tech, especially the search engine. I can always rely on Google for relevant information, which is not always the case with Alexa. So, Google all the way here.

Let’s talk about sound

The speaker has a polycarbonate build but it’s solid for the pricing. I have no complains about the simple look with mesh all around the speaker. And it can be kept almost anywhere in the room.

As far as controls go, it’s quite simple and all on the top of the device. So, it’s easy to control volume or play/pause tracks and there is a multi-colour LED light to show that the Assistant is working. The mics on the speaker are also quite good and it can pick up my voice from across the room even if there is a lot of chatter.

There is more

Two other features interested me a lot. First, it can be used as a Bluetooth speaker. There is a 1.5-inch full-range speaker, which makes it a perfect Bluetooth champ. Plus, if you have a couple of these speakers, you can pair them and get stereo sound. Second, there is Google Chromecast built-in, meaning you will be able to cast the music that’s playing on, say, YouTube to the speaker.

Should you buy it?

It is truly a smart speaker and tries to be a helpful companion rather than just a showpiece. At a time when smart speakers are experiencing identity crisis, Xiaomi comes from nowhere to deliver a brilliant option. Xiaomi Smart Speaker with IR Control is smart in all sense of the term, thanks to its ‘IR’ superpower.

Device: Xiaomi Smart Speaker with IR Control

Price: Rs 4,999

High notes

  •  The IR blaster can control almost any device in the house
  •  There is a LED clock on the device, which means it’s a great bedside-table companion
  •  Good sound quality
  •  Presence of Chromecast
  • Muffled notes

  •  Connectivity is not via USB-C
  •  Black is the only colour option