Xiaomi Mi Brand to Bring Premium Mobile Offerings to India in 2020, Company Reveals
Xiaomi is in plans to bring premium offerings in the country under its Mi brand. It has been five and a half years since Xiaomi entered the India market back in July 2014.
The Chinese company started its journey with the Mi 3, but with the passage of time, it shifted significantly to the Redmi brand.
Till date, Xiaomi launched over 40 smartphones in the country under the Mi, Redmi,
And Poco brands, but the Redmi brand has so far dominated the company’s lineup with over 30 phones carrying the brand name that was coined back in 2013.
The company, however, is now in plans to go beyond selling affordable smartphones under its Redmi branding
And bolster its development towards the Mi brand that is aimed to include premium devices.
“Everything’s been driven by Redmi portfolio [so far],” said Raghu Reddy, Head of Categories, Xiaomi India, in a conversation with Gadgets 360.
“2020 is the year where we’re looking to change that in a big way. You will see a lot more of Mi premium flagship devices that will make their way into India.”
The Beijing-based company in January last year officially spun off Redmi as its sub-brand to cater to a wider audience.
However, that change was up until now limited to the Chinese market, where separate Redmi and Mi teams work under the mothership of Xiaomi.
Reddy, who was earlier heading the company’s online sales, said that the prime reason for delay was the limited Mi portfolio that didn’t have as many products in India as it has in China.
‘Good step, but positioning successful is a challenge’
Analysts believe that by bringing premium devices under the Mi brand, Xiaomi would eventually get a strong connect with its customers in India.
The company has a proven record of taking on matured players including Samsung with its Mi smartphones in China.
However, it is yet to demonstrate its success in the premium smartphone market in India.
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“A few quarters back in 2019, Xiaomi attempted to capture the $300-$500 (roughly Rs. 21,200-35,400) price segment,
essentially aimed at upgraders who would want to experience a flagship-like design and specifications and yet be pocket-friendly in comparison to flagship offerings
by global brands like Samsung and Apple,” said Upasana Joshi, Associate Research Manager, IDC India.
“The Poco F1 and Redmi K20/Pro series were the models launched, keeping in mind the mid-range positioning in the market. Both series were accepted well in the market,
but not to the tune of affordable Redmi A or Note series launched earlier.”
Step by step information
Tarun Pathak, Associate Director, Counterpoint Research, noted that Xiaomi gave a glimpse at the future with Mi Mix Alpha
And was able to generate a strong pull in the flagship segment with the Mi 9.
“I think this is a good step especially when globally Mi flagships are perceived as premium for Xiaomi users,” Pathak told Gadgets 360.
“This will make a case for Xiaomi for consistent naming and positioning as it enters more markets — like Samsung has the Note and S series across all global markets.”
That said, Xiaomi is majorly popular as an affordable smartphone maker, while companies such as Samsung have a distinct presence in both affordable and premium market segments.
“To succeed in the premium segment, Xiaomi needs to differentiate the Mi lineup from its vast portfolio which is known for its value,” said Joshi of IDC.
“In doing so, Xiaomi can position Mi smartphone to compete with premium global brands, such as Samsung and Apple, while keeping the price-conscious consumer in mind.”
Counterpoint Research’s Pathak supports what Joshi believes and said that positioning successfully is a challenge which Xiaomi need to keep a closer eye on.
The company captured a market share of 26 percent, as per Counterpoint Research, while IDC estimated its share of 27.1 percent.
Pathak said that in the total Xiaomi sales, Redmi series is almost 95 percent. This number would be changed with the arrival of new Mi devices this year.
Xiaomi is likely to bring its Mi-series flagship phone to India soon to kick off the action.
However, we can expect that the company may expand its approach by launching products from new categories, too.