Baidu’s AI Arm Xiaodu to Launch Smartphone This Month

According to Time Weekly, Xiaodu Technology, the artificial intelligence division of Chinese internet giant Baidu, is set to release its inaugural mobile phone in late May. Further details about the product will be disclosed on May 15th.

A report by The Paper states that Xiaodu has referred to their latest phone as a “new species” due to its unique category. There have been speculations about the integration of Baidu‘s new chatbot, ERNIE Bot, into this smartphone. In February 2021, Xiaodu had announced plans to incorporate all of ERNIE Bot’s capabilities and develop an AI model for smart devices. However, sources suggest that ERNIE Bot will not be integrated into the system of Xiaodu’s phone.

Xiaodu, previously a business unit of Baidu‘s Intelligent Life Group, is now an integral part of Baidu‘s AI technology. Initially recognized by its smart speakers, Xiaodu has since broadened its product line to include smart screens and earphones.

IDC data predicts that Xiaodu will dominate the Chinese market for smart speakers, learning tablets, and fitness mirrors in 2022. While Huawei and Xiaomi have established brands and large fan bases, competition in the Chinese smartphone market is intense. It remains to be seen how much Xiaodu’s entry into this market will impact it.

SEE ALSO: China Smartphone Sales in 2022 Reach Lowest Level in a Decade

At present, the worldwide market for electronic consumer goods is slow-moving and the mobile phone industry is experiencing significant changes. Counterpoint Research data reveals that in 2022, global smartphone shipments dropped by 12% year-on-year to reach 1.2 billion units, while revenue from these devices decreased by 9% to $409 billion. In Q1 of 2023, global smartphone shipments amounted to only 280.2 million units – a decline of 14% compared to the previous year and a decrease of 7% compared to the previous quarter – marking it as the weakest quarter since 2013.

The Chinese smartphone market is experiencing a significant decline. IDC’s data reveals that in 2022, the shipment volume of China’s smartphone market was approximately 286 million units, marking a year-on-year decrease of 13.2%, which is the largest drop ever recorded. Similarly, during the first quarter of 2023, the shipment volume decreased by 11.8% to about 65.44 million units compared to the same period last year. Since 2022, quarterly shipments have consistently declined by over 10%.