Xiaomi 14 Ultra Global Launch: Over $1,500! Apple Vision Pro Costs Just $1,500!

Xiaomi officially launched the Xiaomi 14 Ultra at its MWC 2024 event, marking the overseas expansion of the tech powerhouse’s Leica-branded camera king, previously released domestically.

The Xiaomi 14 Ultra boasts the strongest imaging capabilities in the company’s history, featuring the all-new Summilux all-star quad-camera system. Developed in collaboration with Leica, it provides superior optical quality with the Ultra series’ largest light intake to date, highest specification optical lenses, and most precise optical path design, all teaming up to forge a new echelon of mobile imaging.

The main camera employs Sony’s second-generation one-inch sensor LYT-900, featuring an ultra-large 1/0.98-inch sensor size, with 1.6μm pixel size, and supports OIS optical stabilization. It’s further enhanced with Xiaomi’s second-generation infinitely adjustable aperture technology, boasting a maximum aperture of f/1.63.

Additionally, the device includes a 50-megapixel ultra-wide-angle lens, a 50-megapixel 3.2x telephoto lens, and a 50-megapixel 5x periscope telephoto lens, all of which use the IMX858 sensor to ensure consistency with the main camera’s imagery.

Crucially, the Xiaomi 14 Ultra utilizes Xiaomi AISP large model computational photography, with support for professional street photography mode 2.0. The feature allows for rapid 0.7-second startup and instant, focus-free capture.

In terms of specs, the Xiaomi 14 Ultra is equipped with a 6.73-inch full-depth micro-curved screen, a 3200*1440 resolution, and supports a 120Hz refresh rate. It’s powered by the third-generation Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 processor, has a built-in 5300mAh battery, and supports 90W wired and 80W wireless fast charging.

The global version of the Xiaomi 14 Ultra retains the same specifications as the domestic model, however, it lacks the satellite communication feature available in the Chinese version.

There are several intriguing points to consider. Firstly, the international pricing at 1499 euros, equivalent to about 11690 Chinese yuan, definitely positions it as a premium flagship! Secondly, only the Xiaomi 14 Ultra was released internationally, excluding the Xiaomi 14 Pro which seems to find itself in an awkward middle position considering its specs. Lastly, the absence of the satellite communication feature in the international version leaves one to question whether it’s a hardware limitation or a software restriction.

Let it be reiterated that while the Xiaomi 14 Ultra is an excellent imaging flagship, it is obviously not suited for most users. Its price, performance, specifications, and features far exceed the needs of a regular user, so its high-cost makes sense. To put it simply, it’s good and expensive but not a necessary purchase for everyone.

According to foreign media reports, NVIDIA has, for the first time, listed Chinese tech giant Huawei as a competitor, sparking widespread curiosity.

Previously, NVIDIA’s CEO praised Huawei as a good company with solid technical prowess, willing to commend their capabilities.

Further details from the report suggest that NVIDIA’s actions point to a shifting global landscape for advanced processors driving new AI technology.

NVIDIA identifies Huawei as a competitor in four out of five domains, including AI-related graphics processors, large cloud service companies with internal teams that design AI-related chips, Arm-based central processors, and networking products.

The report by NVIDIA states that new competitors or alliances among them could emerge and gain significant market share.

NVIDIA also mentioned Chinese tech firms Alibaba and Baidu as competitors in the cloud service domain.

As one of the main players in China’s AI field, Huawei has been developing a range of “homegrown alternatives” to NVIDIA’s chips—a move that has heightened NVIDIA’s awareness given the backdrop of domestic substitutions and Huawei’s strong technological foundation.

Despite regulatory restrictions that may prevent Chinese manufacturers from fully embracing the products, NVIDIA is offering two new AI chip samples specifically for the Chinese market to compete with Huawei.

Huawei indeed has its hands full—competing with Apple in smartphones, Qualcomm in chips, and now NVIDIA in AI processing power. The pressure comes from the United States’ unfaltering scrutiny over China’s technology sector.

As reported by DigiTimes, Apple is in the process of deciding on the design for its first foldable device, which won’t be following the trend set by foldable Android smartphones.

Citing supply chain sources in a paid report, DigiTimes states that Apple has been developing its first foldable product for at least five years. The device in question is anticipated to be a “larger device,” potentially a tablet or laptop rather than an iPhone, with design efforts underway ahead of a large-scale production plan.

Over the years, as the hinge mechanisms for foldable devices have become increasingly advanced, Apple’s key challenge for its foldable device has shifted towards developing panels that meet its stringent quality standards.

The report adds that rumors of Apple’s halted development with Samsung’s foldable displays and an internal restructuring to move Vision Pro engineers to the foldable project aren’t contradictory, as the company’s focus is decidedly on quality.

It also clarifies that Apple hasn’t paused its foldable device efforts; multiple departments are concurrently working on different foldable product lines. Apple’s first foldable device might not make its debut until 2025 at the earliest.

Apple’s foldable screen device seems to be quite a distant reality, with the possibility of it being axed at any moment. In fact, substantial efforts being put into Vision Pro might signal a departure from traditional mobile devices.

Research from Omdia suggests that the production cost of the Apple Vision Pro could be just over $1500.

Omdia estimates that the hardware components of the Apple Vision Pro cost a total of $1542, with the most expensive being the 1.25-inch Micro OLED screens. With two screens per Vision Pro, Apple reportedly pays $228 for each Sony-manufactured screen, bringing the total screen cost for each device to $456.

The M2 and the novel R1 chips follow as the second most expensive components. According to Apple, the R1 chip is designed to process inputs from cameras, sensors, and microphones, streaming the image to the display within 12 milliseconds.

Currently, the Apple Vision Pro is priced at a steep $3499, with just the parts exceeding $1500, accounting for less than half of the total cost. This doesn’t include R&D, packaging, marketing, or Apple’s profit margins.

Rumors suggest that for broader market reach, Apple may need to introduce a lower-priced headset version, potentially launching as early as 2025, with some downgrades such as lower-spec screens and possibly an iPhone processor in place of a Mac processor.

One of the current issues with the Apple Vision Pro is the lack of a robust app ecosystem. The high price point, resulting in a low base of users, does not attract a throng of third-party app developers to serve its platform. This scenario is reminiscent of the early days of the iPhone. The growth of the iPhone’s popularity might be a good reference for what’s to come for Vision Pro. It’s undeniable that Apple has laid a solid foundation with the Vision Pro in terms of hardware and technology.

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