Xiaomi Strengthens Play In Premium Smartphone Market In India

Chinese smartphone maker Xiaomi Wednesday said it is focussing on strengthening its position in the premium segment of the market in India, a section that is currently dominated by players like OnePlus and Samsung.

New Delhi: Chinese smartphone maker Xiaomi Wednesday said it is focussing on strengthening its position in the premium segment of the market in India, a section that is currently dominated by players like OnePlus and Samsung.

The company, which launched two new devices Redmi K20 and Redmi K20 Pro in India for Rs 21,999 onwards on Wednesday, is also looking at expanding its play in the niche, but growing home automation space in India.

"A few years ago, the premium market was about 3-4 per cent of the India smartphone market. This segment has now grown and makes a high single-digit contribution...we were prioritising the belly of the market which was the affordable segment," Xiaomi Vice-President and India Managing Director Manu Jain said.

This year on, Xiaomi will increase its focus on the premium segment as well, he added.

Jain said Xiaomi's latest Redmi K20 and K20 Pro flagship smartphones will help the company "disrupt" the premium segment.

The K20 Pro features Snapdragon 855 processor, while the K20 has a Snapdragon 730 chipset. Both phones have 6.39 inch-display, 20MP pop-up front camera, 48MP+13MP+8MP triple rear camera and 4,000 mAh battery.

As per IDC, Xiaomi led the smartphone market in India with 30.6 per cent share in the January-March 2019 quarter, followed by Samsung (22.3 per cent), vivo (13 per cent), Oppo (7.6 per cent) and Realme (6 per cent).

Speaking to PTI, Xiaomi Raghu said flagship phones from other players are getting costlier, and that there is room in the Rs 20,000-30,000 segment of the market.

"Honest pricing is our brand philosophy. We have done that in the affordable segment and will continue with the same even in the higher-end of the market," he said.

Xiaomi had last year announced a sub-brand POCO that launched smartphones priced Rs 20,999 onwards. Previously, it had launched its Mi Mix that was priced almost Rs 30,000.

The premium segment, which is dominated by players like OnePlus, Samsung and Apple, accounts for less than 10 per cent of the Indian market in terms of shipment but the value contribution is higher. Players like vivo are also aggressively looking at tapping into the segment with their devices offering premium features.

Xiaomi, which had entered the Indian market five years ago with its smartphone range, now sells smart TVs, mobile accessories, power banks, air purifiers and other products as well.

"When we launched five years ago, our only intent was to survive. We hardly had any experience but we wanted to build something meaningful. Five years later, we want to continue doing that and make things 'smart' around us, whether it's wearables or even blinds smart," Jain said.

He added that the company would also focus on its offline expansion in the country.

"We started with online and continue to have about 50 per cent share. Maintaining that is difficult but we will try our best. Our biggest push is offline. We have Mi Homes, Mi Preferred Partners and Mi Stores and have also started Mi Express Kiosks...we want to go to more cities with our offline presence," he explained.

Jain added that Xiaomi has taken lessons for its offline expansion, including from rival Samsung, and built on top of that to offer quality experience to its customers.