March 19, 2020 2:06:08 pm
For all of Xiaomi’s spectacular success in India, there’s also been the failure to be able to sell its flagship Mi brand in the country. And possibly for this very reason, Xiaomi has stayed away from launching a Mi phone after the Mi 5 in 2016.
Four long years later, the company is finally gearing up to take a punt with the latest Mi 10. It desperately makes some inroads into the premium segment, especially since rival Realme has done quite well there. But will it succeed where it hasn’t before?
Xiaomi confirmed the launch date of the Mi 10 to be March 31. Well, it’s great to see Xiaomi bringing its flagship device to India after so long, but this time the company has a lot of more resting on its success given that it is the Number 1 smartphone brand of the country right now.
While Xiaomi has attained the top spot thanks to its stranglehold on the budget segment in India, this also means it has to live with the ‘budget’ or ‘affordable’ brand tag. And this means people might expect the Mi 10 to have aggressive pricing just like all other Xiaomi phones. But that is not going to happen and that is not what Xiaomi is aiming for. The Mi 10 is a flagship in the true sense: Snapdragon 865 processor, 5G support and many other premium features. It will also be priced like a flagship.
In a recent tweet, Xiaomi India managing director Manu Kumar Jain said the pricing model for the Mi 10 will be different. With “different” he definitely meant that the price of the phone will be much higher than what the Indian Xiaomi fan expects it to be. He also listed three factors that will affect the pricing of the Mi 10: direct import, higher GST and a depreciating rupee.
Like the recently launched Mi MIX Alpha, the Mi 10 too has components that can’t be manufactured in India and will add up to the pricing of the phone. Additionally, with the new 18 per cent GST on phones, the Mi 10 could be even more expensive now. “As a result of this GST increase, all smartphone makers will be forced to increase prices,” Xiaomi had said in a statement.
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While Xiaomi’s core audience will be hard to convince with an expensive phone, the company will be hoping to get some new users towards its flagship range. It might also hope that some of its earlier users now upgrade to a more expensive device.
At premium pricing, it will also have to take on brands like Apple, OnePlus and Samsung ruling the premium segment. For instance, OnePlus is soon going to launch its flagship series the OnePlus 8 next month and Samsung’s lite flagships have just started selling in India. It will all depend on how Xiaomi positions its flagship in India.
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