Xiaomi preps up for stronger play in premium segment, may bring Mi Mix Alpha in India -BB

The country’s largest smartphone brand Xiaomi will bring more products under its ‚Mi‘ brand as it looks to offer more premium experiences to customers. The company is also contemplating bringing in its ultra-premium Mi MIX Alpha concept phone – a smartphone featuring a display that almost completely covers the device’s body – to India.

„Xiaomi has seen phenomenal growth since its launch 5 years ago, and last two years, we have been at the number one position. We continue to work on products that bring in the latest innovation and features at appropriate price points,“ Xiaomi India Head of Categories Raghu Reddy told .

He added that while the company has launched few Mi smartphones in India, Xiaomi will focus on stepping on the accelerator on this category.

„While our Redmi franchise is more mass market, Mi devices have been about innovation. These are flagship products and we think the market is now ready and we will bring more Mi smartphones and ecosystem products to India,“ he said.

In the last few years, the company has introduced products like smart TVs, air purifiers, water purifiers and smart lighting solutions in India. Reddy declined to comment on new launches planned in the connected products segment.

Showcasing Mi MIX Alpha, Mi Marketing Lead Sumit Sonal said the futuristic phone shows the many avenues that Xiaomi wants to explore during the 5G era.

Xiaomi has filed for patent on the wraparound display. Interestingly, players like Samsung, Huawei and Motorola have unveiled smartphones with foldable displays.

„Mi MIX Alpha is a concept phone and it includes the features that will find their way into our portfolio of smartphones. We are evaluating the commercial launch of Mi MIX Alpha globally as well as in India,“ Sonal said.

Sonal said currently, there is only one production line capable of manufacturing the Mi MIX Alpha which is in China, and the China price of the device is 19,999 RMB.

„So, if we were to bring this to India, after adding import duty, custom duty and other expenses, it would take the price tag to approximately Rs 2.5 lakh. There are other aspects also which would need to be worked out before this is introduced,“ he said.

The Chinese tech major has been keen to expand its presence in the booming premium smartphone segment in India, a category that is currently dominated by OnePlus, Apple and Samsung.

The company has devices like Mi MIX 2 and Redmi K20 Pro that are priced above Rs 20,000. Xiaomi led the smartphone shipment tally with 27.1 per cent share in the September 2019 quarter, followed by Samsung (18.9 per cent), Vivo (15.2 per cent), Realme (14.3 per cent) and Oppo (11.8 per cent).

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