For all intents and purposes, we may still call former “Mi” branded handsets with the brand name slapped.
Xiaomi is dropping the “Mi” branding from its handsets. Recalling, there are three different brandings Xiaomi uses for its phones: these are the “Mi” phones for special and flagship phones, “Redmi” for budget (although the branding has now become a separate name instead of a category thanks to the Redmi K series) and “Poco” for flagship killers.
The first phone to drop the naming is the Mix 4. So the phone is just called the “Mix 4”. The upcoming phones on September 15, the Mi 11T and 11T Pro may keep the Mi branding but the next flagship may just be called “Xiaomi 12” or something in the lines.
The “Mi” branding wasn’t intentionally made for smartphones anyway, it’s made for its Android skin called MIUI. At first, it was just a community-built custom ROM which you can install on other phones but Xiaomi had greater ambitions for it than just an Android fork.
Secondly, “Mi” is meant for its main service line, according to founder Lei Jun, there are two meanings behind it: “Mobile Internet” and “Mission Impossible”. They are still the unofficial definitions of the brand. Xiaomi doesn’t see itself as a hardware or a phone manufacturer but rather a telecommunications company that is set to challenge the impossible. This vision is something you would commonly hear on their unveilings.
Now that the company is the world’s largest manufacturer of smartphones, Xiaomi decided that it’s time for consumers to refer to its proper name “Xiaomi” instead of just “Mi”. However, for all intents and purposes, we may still include the “Mi” branding for newer Xiaomi handsets that have omitted the name.
Below is Xiaomi’s statement regarding the “Mi” branding.
Starting in 2021 Q3, Xiaomi’s product series “Mi” will be renamed to “Xiaomi”. This change will unify our global brand presence and close the perception gap between the brand and its products. This change may take some time to take effect in all regions.
With the introduction of the new brand identity, two distinct product series will sit beneath the parent brand. Xiaomi products represent the pinnacle of technology and offer a premium experience. Redmi products bring big innovation at a more accessible price point and are aimed at younger audience. This differentiation is also reflected in our updated logos, with both the Xiaomi and Redmi logotypes under the parent brand logo.
The product series naming convention — Xiaomi and Redmi — will also be applied to our ecosystem and IoT products over time.
In this statement, the company have hinted to use “Redmi” as a brand name that refers to its ecosystem products. So… “Redmiui?” Heh, maybe in the future. MIUI may be renamed to “Xiaomi UI” in the future due to that same statement.