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In just a few years Xiaomi has become a major player in the Chinese smartphone market. By sales volume alone it is the third largest smartphone vendor in the country, leaps ahead on ZTE, Huawei and even Apple. The company itself is often referred to as the Apple of China. As Xiaomi looks towards global expansion its adopting technologies that it needs to do well particularly in major markets. Xiaomi says that it is going to launch 4G compatible smartphones “as soon as possible.”

Focus Taiwan reports that Xiaomi president Bin Lin has confirmed that the company is going to release 4G smartphones as soon as possible. While Lin didn’t provide any details about Xiaomi’s first 4G smartphone it is believed that the rumored Xiaomi Mi3S is going to be the first one.

The Xiaomi Mi3S is rumored to run a Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 processor with 3GB of RAM, and tout a 5-inch full HD 1080p display as well as an 8 megapixel front camera. The smartphone is believed to be powered by Android 4.4 KitKat. Previous reports suggest that Xiaomi’s popular and highly affordable Red Rice smartphone might be relaunched as an 4G compatible smartphone in the near future.

Xiaomi expects to ship at least 60 million smartphones this year. The company has met its previous shipping goals so there’s little reason to believe that it won’t hit the 60 million mark this year. It expects to enter North America next year and having 4G smartphones under its belt certainly wouldn’t hurt its chances of making it in the this highly competitive market.

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