Xiaomi has defended the price of its latest flagship Mi 10 smartphone in India, saying the tag just reflects what the device is capable of. The top-end phone, which made its debut in the country last week, is the most expensive Xiaomi phone released in India, with the phone selling for Rs 49,999 for the base model.
Speaking to Indianexpress.com, Raghu Reddy, Chief Business Officer, Xiaomi India, said the price tag reflects what “this device is capable of”, and countered that the competition charges way higher for phones with similar features. “I think in a lot of people’s heads the only consideration for making something of a flagship device is whether it has the Snapdragon 865 processor but with the Mi 10 we are not just giving the best possible experience from a processing standpoint, we are trying to give the best possible experience on the imaging with a 108MP camera, we are giving the best possible experience in terms of the screen and we are trying to give the best possible experience in terms of wireless charging,” Reddy explained, adding how when you add all of these things up the “Mi 10 is still one of the most aggressive products out there in the market”.
The Mi 10 has several features to entice consumers, but the big question is whether the Mi 10 will help Xiaomi break the image of a budget smartphone maker in India, its most successful market after China. Xiaomi currently has a 30 per cent market share in India’s smartphone market but the company has a negligible presence in the high-end segment where Apple, Samsung, and OnePlus dominate. The last flagship phone Xiaomi brought to India was the Mi Mix 2, which made its debut in 2017.
With the Mi 10, Xiaomi isn’t necessarily trying to win market share. Rather, the company wants to showcase what it is capable of in the high-end segment. “We believe in making great products and making them available at the best possible prices. I think we just want to showcase our technology,” he said.
Reddy is confident Xiaomi will do well in the high-end segment. “What’s happened over the last few years for us is that we have been focused on catering to the larger part of the market when we have been predominantly focused on sub-20K to 25K segment with a few devices coming in at a higher price point, because we believe that it needed all our attention to ensure we will be able to do well,” he said. “And we now believe it is time for us to start bringing the other portfolio to the market.”
Addressing a misconception about the brand in India, he said consumers think Xiaomi only makes budget and mid-range smartphones, but that’s not true. “Xiaomi has been one of the companies that are always launching flagship phones… also, we bring in a lot of industry firsts to the devices.”
Reddy said the company always wanted to bring high-end phones to India but was looking for the right time. “It’s about when we could bring those devices into India and when we were ready to sort of do justice to these devices. I believe that 2020 is a perfect time, given that we have been fairly dominant on the rest of the portfolio in the country,” he explains.
Reddy indicates that the company will now be consistent with smartphone launches in the high-end market in India. “When we start something, we would want to be consistent. Now that we’ve kicked started it over here, we really want to continue that trend,” he said.