2020 is a year of change for Xiaomi’s high-profile strategy in India: from the cautious tiptoe transition to a brand-new market segment, it has now become hostile.
Xiaomi in India
Xiaomi has abandoned its budget roots and is committed to becoming a complete service. When I last reviewed Xiaomi’s India strategy in May 2020, the world (especially India) was in the early stages of a sustained pandemic. It is hard to imagine that COVID-19 will have an impact on the country. Nevertheless, Xiaomi managed to increase its market share. In fact, research company Canalys reports that Xiaomi has a 27% leading share in the Indian smartphone market.
A report from Counterpoint Research in the first quarter of 2021 believes that Xiaomi continues to rank first. position. Of course, when India’s smartphone shipments increased by 23% year-on-year to 38 million units, this has a lot to do with entry-level smartphones, but Xiaomi also took advantage of the ever-increasing high-end level.
Currently, the market rabbit is not only based on the Redmi 9 series but also based on the good performance of Mi 10i in the high-end mid-range market. So far, Xiaomi has obviously adopted an entry-level success formula, but there is still a lot of room for growth in the high-end market segment. The trust of customers is winning Xiaomi’s previous efforts in the high-end market, mainly on Mi 2016. Mix didn’t win many fans.
The price of this phone is a dime, and years of waiting for another flagship store did not give confidence in the company’s impressive performance. In contrast, Xiaomi relentlessly focuses on the entry-level market.
The collateral benefits of making money,… the reputation of beginners. In 2020, Xiaomi 10 will become India’s first high-end Xiaomi mobile phone for a long time, and Xiaomi will quickly follow the Xiaomi 10T series. Considering that the company will return to the price of its flagship product, Xiaomi has to beat the popular OnePlus 8 with one or two punches, and it also plays another role: demonstrating its commitment to the Indian market. line?
This changed the equation and Xiaomi maintained the leading position of the Mi 11 series at a very competitive price. In the high-end mid-range market, the launch of the Mi 11 series has consolidated Xiaomi’s commitment. You have a Mi 11x equipped with Snapdragon 870. Less than 29,999 rupees (approximately US$410), compared to the much more expensive OnePlus 9R, it is really worth the money. Then there is the Mi 11x Pro, which starts at 39,999 rupees ($550), which once again ruins the OnePlus 9 and provides the best camera for Mi 11 Ultra, and of course, Mi 11 Ultra also provides you with more features.
Bodykit is the money of your direct competitors. However, the flagship store is only part of the story. From a broader perspective, it is clear that Xiaomi wants to bring its entire product portfolio into the price ladder. For example, the traditional price of the Redmi Note series is much lower than Rs.20,000 marks (~$260). Redmi Note 10 Pro broke this barrier and increased the price of the entire Note 10 series. It has been expanded and improved vertically, from Mi Robot vacuum cleaners to laptops and high-end QLED TVs, such as the recently launched 75-inch giant TV.
Time and execution in the emerging smartphone market are key factors. Xiaomi’s expansion to more high-end products is a good time for Xiaomi to take the first step. India’s entry-level market segment is full of choices. Realme launched Realme and Narzo brand products, flooding the market. In this environment, Xiaomi has many opportunities to achieve diversification, and high-quality components have to pay a price. In addition, the average retail price of smartphones is slowly but surely rising. In this market, sales may grow at very low-profit margins. Xiaomi must establish its position in the high-end smartphone market in order to maintain profitability. Components are important, but high-quality phones are not just about hardware.
Software and support are trademarks. As my colleague, Hadley recently pointed out, the inconsistency of MIUI in the Mi Wallet will affect the user experience. Take the Mi 11 Ultra as an example-the scaling issue of notifications is not what you would expect from a phone of 69,999 rupees (about US$950). Fast delivery of MIUI updates can usually fix most errors, but the first impression is important. There is also the issue of updates: Apple’s support for 4 to 5 years is second to none; Samsung has bridged the gap by providing support for many mobile phones (not only flagship phones) in 3 years. Compared (at best), the two-year update provided by Xiaomi is quite mediocre. Solving these problems is crucial for Xiaomi.