Poco India is now among the top three online smartphone brands in the country, with growth driven by its budget devices, revealed a report by Counterpoint Research. The brand has left behind rivals Realme and OnePlus in online volumes, the report claimed. It now stands behind Xiaomi, its original parent company, and Samsung. Poco went the independent route less than a year ago.
“In less than 11 months, we have introduced a powerful and clean line-up across price points keeping in mind the current spending capacities of our fans and consumers,” Anuj Sharma, Country Director of Poco India told indianexpress.com adding that a focus on the budget segment was the key for them in 2020.
“Poco is gaining momentum in the Indian smartphone market. Its smartphones like Poco C3 and Poco M2 were the main drivers of this growth,” Shilpi Jain, Research Analyst, Counterpoint said. “In Q3 2020, Poco captured the 4th position in online segment shipments, post which it rose to the 3rd position in November 2020,” she added.
Poco became independent of Xiaomi in early 2020
Originating as just a new series back in 2018, Poco entered the market with the Poco F1, which turned into a very popular phone. However, it did not become an independent brand until much later in January 2020. Xiaomi Managing Director Manu Kumar Jain had said “We feel the time is right to let Poco operate on its own now, which is why we’re excited to announce that Poco will spin-off as an independent brand,” in a press statement at the time.
While the brand announced itself as an independent brand on January 17, 2020, it continued using the MIUI skin on its smartphones, something we still see on Poco smartphones. While MIUI belongs to Xiaomi, Poco did tweak the User Interface (UI) a little bit by eliminating ads and adding the Poco launcher instead of the default MIUI launcher.
Why Poco shifted its focus to budget phones
In February 2020, Poco launched its first phone as an independent brand, the Poco X2, which was considered one of the best value-for-money phones to buy for under Rs 20,000, even months after its launch. However, as the pandemic hit, the brand shifted focus to budget devices.
Poco launched the Poco C3, the Poco M2 and the Poco M2 Pro in the following months, offering budget and mid-range specifications at affordable prices. Budget phones played a key role while the pandemic took its toll in India. At a time when many were losing employment and were confined to their homes, affordable and accessible technology in the form of budget smartphones became popular quickly.
This helped new smartphone users with various elements from entertainment to E-learning. “Today, smartphones are no longer a device meant only for communication. It is a driver or central piece in learning from home scenarios,” explained Sharma.
For Poco, this resulted in growing sales for two of its budget-oriented phones, the C3 and the M2, which as per the report, also make up for two of the three most sold online phones in 2020. The brand claims that the Poco M2 in fact sold 1,30,000 units on the first day of its sale. Poco also recently celebrated the success of these variants by discounting their prices further.
The way forward and the Poco F2
Where the brand focuses in 2021, remains to be seen. “We have been confident about our products from the get-go, and the overwhelming consumer response validates that fans appreciate what we bring to the table. With the continuous support from our Fans and consumers, we are fairly confident about the coming year and are working towards creating new milestones in 2021,” Sharma shared.
The stage is set! The fun has begun! Let us get ready to take it to the next level!
Excited? You should be, coz the next year is going to be even crazier.
While we enjoy, let us look back at everything we’ve achieved together! Thank you ❤️ pic.twitter.com/K0432jSj8B
— POCO India (@IndiaPOCO) December 31, 2020
Poco also recently dropped a new teaser hinting at its 2021 plans. The video mentions the Poco F2 multiple times near the end. Perhaps, we could finally see the much-awaited Poco F1 successor in 2021.