Xiaomi Announces Ultra Cheap Air Filter! Unfortunately it is Still 4 Times as Expensive as Smart Air

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December 10, 2014 by ...

Xiaomi took an ego hit when Alibaba’s founder–Jack Ma,  chided them for not helping out mankind. Ma rhetorically asked Lei Jun if China and the world needs cheap smart phones. Rather than reverse the tables on him and ask if Mr Ma thinks access to knowledge is not more admirable than access to cheap made-in-China stuff, which is what Alibaba sells, Lei Jun merely rubbed his cheeks and sighed.

Lei Jun et al then set out to show the world that they were trying to help mankind! They did this today by announcing that they might not be able to cleanse China’s soot filled skies,

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but that they could help people breathe easier at home. Their solution is the brand spanking new Xiaomi ‘Clean air thing!”

air purifier

The nifty gadget above promises to do this…

purifier 3

which I guess is Chinese for ‘Take all that dirty crap out of the air so that you can live like a human.’

In fact, Xiaomi is so proud of their new life saver that they even stuffed this up on their website.

purifier 4

This probably says something like ‘Breathe as if you were anyplace but China with our brand spanking new product meant to purify your hearts, minds and wallets. Plug this machine into your trust wall socket and watch your malnourished loved ones increase body mass by approximately 406%!’

OK, maybe it does not say that, but you get my point.

Hey, why you bitching if Xiaomi is helping people?

You may be plucking at the mole next to your bottom lip and asking why the author of this piece exudes sarcasm. After all, Xiaomi is helping people breathe easier. And in a country where cancer is the leading cause of death, that is a good thing, right?

Well yes, and no. Yes Xiaomi is making clean air easier for the clan. And yes they  are selling their kit for almost 900RMB or $150, which is twenty to ninety percent cheaper than the high-tech air cleaners that others sell. But then again. Xiaomi is really just copying these guys.

Smartairfilters.com selling clean air for $30

The people at smartairfilters.com are selling clean air for eighty percent less than Xiaomi. Of course their units are less prosaic, but then again when one’s goal is to clean the air, is beauty a requirement?

smart air 1 smart air 2

In fact, one could argue that with 300 million people living on a few dollars a day, Xiaomi’s charging 800 RMB is just as bad as charging 10,000. Both are beyond the means of an America’s worth of Chinese and thus of limited use.

Smartairfilters.com on the other hand, is making a product that nearly 90% of the Chinese market can afford. Once again, the design is brutish, but that people who live in this

IMG_4623

Would prefer to have something like this chugging along in their home

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than expectorate lung sacs every other minute. Taking the argument one step further, I would bet that most people would be happy to know that smartairfilters.com gear  cleans so well that O2 actually becomes an odorless, tasteless substance, just like it is back home. So good are these mini dervishes that they are able to clean like this data shows.

tumblr_inline_mwdq9vgNLh1s4lgm1 (1) tumblr_inline_mwdr9sL9Jm1s4lgm1 tumblr_inline_mwiv6sWvdv1s4lgm1 tumblr_inline_mwksj4bl1a1s4lgm1 tumblr_inline_mwj25xg4zc1s4lgm1 tumblr_inline_mwj26bXs6k1s4lgm1i

Conclusion

Kudos to Xiaomi for offering an alternative to China’s viscous oxygen problem. But then again, couldn’t they do better? An American named Thomas Talhelm is doing Doctoral research in China and is making cleaners for $30 at smartairfilters.com . Considering that Xiaomi says that it wants to help its own, could it have pulled a ‘Talhelm’ and knocked the price down a bit?

i heard Mr Talhelm speak on the link provided above and he said that air filters are essentially a fan and filter. Nothing more and nothing less. His company is a not-for-profit and produces at cost, a thing Xiaomi also claims to do. If Dr Talhelm is correct then the cost of producing the Xiaomi unit cannot be more than twice that of Talhelm’s. If that is the case, then Xiaomi stands to make 50% profit on all the units it sells. The plastic molding is super cheap and by the looks of it, they cribbed the design off of XBOX. Considering that they can use die scrounged up from the dumps of Shenzhen, it is fair to say that Xiaomi’s costs mirror that of Smartairfilters.com and if this is the case then Xiaomi’s offering loses its luster exponentially.

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