One flagship phone to be launched each year in India, says Xiaomi VP Manu Jain
Talking about the sudden popularity of this category, Jain says that over the last few years, the smartphone market has evolved majorly in India, and there is a huge potential for this segment to further evolve in future.
After disrupting the budget smartphone market, Xiaomi is eyeing the premium smartphone segment in the country. To cater to the premium flagship market, the company has introduced the Redmi K20 Pro with the same set of features as on some of flagship devices.
"Earlier, we largely focussed on phones in the price bracket of less than Rs 20,000, which covers about 95 per cent of the market. The other 5 per cent prefers to buy phones above Rs 20,000 price range. Our vision is to make innovative technology accessible to all our Mi fans, emphasising the same on all our products, be it the affordable category or the flagship models, all of which come at an honest pricing as compared to other industry offerings," says Manu Jain, Managing Director Xiaomi India and Vice President Xiaomi.
This isn't Xiaomi's first attempt in the premium smartphone segment in the country. In 2016, the company had launched the Mi 5 (Rs 24,999) and the Mi Mix 2 (Rs 35,999) in late 2017. Last year, we witnessed the launch of a new sub-brand Poco that launched its first smartphone F1 with the best-in-class specifications starting at Rs 20,999.
The Redmi K20 Pro, on the other hand, features a full-screen AMOLED display, in-display fingerprint scanner, pop-up selfie camera, triple-camera module at the rear, Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 processor, and more with a starting price of Rs 27,999. Xiaomi has also introduced the Redmi K20 starting at Rs 21,999 with the device being powered by Qualcomm 730 processor and many of above-mentioned features.
"Taking into consideration the demand of flagship phones and the market size, we plan to introduce not more than one flagship phone in a year," adds Jain.
Talking about the sudden popularity of this category, Jain says that over the last few years, the smartphone market has evolved majorly in India, and there is a huge potential for this segment to further evolve in future. "With the positive rate of increase in consumer disposable income, we are also witnessing growth in the market size of above Rs 20,000 category as people aspire to buy flagship-level phones, which offer the best and the most powerful features and unmatchable user experience. In addition, consumers are also increasingly relying on their smartphones for smoother business and day-to-day functions."
Commenting on the projected growth and potential of Rs 20,000 to Rs 35,000 price category, Jain adds, "The category of flagship phones or expensive phones (over Rs 20,000) is now growing at a faster pace as compared to before. Consumers are on a lookout for buying phones, which offer the best performance, specifications and design even if they come at a higher price. They are comfortable spending more money, provided they get what they are looking for - best specifications and innovative features. Therefore, there is immense potential in this category if the product offers cutting edge features and specifications at an honest pricing."
Xiaomi entered the Indian smartphone market in July 2014 and has been at the top spot for the last seven quarters in India. Xioami has also launched ecosystem products such as smart TVs, fitness bands, accessories, IoT products such as air purifiers, LED bulbs, security cameras and more.
Xiaomi has seven smartphone manufacturing plants across campuses in partnership with Foxconn, Flex and Hipad, and one smart TV manufacturing plant in partnership with Dixon Technologies in Tirupati, Andhra Pradesh. The company has a combined manufacturing capacity of up to three smartphones per second during operating hours and currently, 99 per cent of Xiaomi's smartphones sold locally are made in India. Xiaomi is also bringing its component ecosystem in India. 65 per cent value of the smartphone is sourced locally.