Chinese tech major Xiaomi is keen on expanding its presence in the booming premium smartphone segment in India, a category that is currently dominated by OnePlus, Apple and Samsung. The company, which today launched Android One-based Mi A2 in India priced at Rs 16,999 onwards, said its focus remains on ensuring technology is made available to every one at affordable prices. “We wanted to ensure that technology is made available to everybody, we were focusing on the biggest pie (under Rs 20,000-phones) and does not mean that we cannot have above Rs 20,000 phones,” Xiaomi Vice President and India Managing Director Manu Jain told PTI.
He added that “time has now come” to launch above Rs 20,000 devices as well. “(This is) because a lot of these people who have been buying our devices will come for an upgrade. We we want to give them the right kind of choices,” he said. Jain explained that the average selling price of smartphones in the Indian market has also gone up to Rs 9,000 from Rs 5,500 about four years ago when the company had entered the Indian market.
Xiaomi currently has Mi MIX 2 priced at Rs 29,999. Mi A2 and Redmi Note 5 Pro (6GB RAM variant) are the second most premium devices in the company’s portfolio. The premium category is estimated to account for less than 10 per cent of the Indian market in terms of shipment. The value contribution, however, is higher. The segment is also growing at a strong pace in India, which is among the largest smartphone markets globally. Players like vivo and Honor are also aggressively looking at tapping into the segment with their devices offering premium features.
According to Counterpoint Research, OnePlus had 40 per cent share, followed by Samsung (34 per cent) and Apple (14 per cent) in the June 2018 quarter. While the Counterpoint report did not disclose the number of devices shipped under the premium segment, market experts estimate that quarterly smartphone shipments range between 1-1.5 million units. These three brands contributed to 88 per cent of the premium handset market as compared to 95 per cent a quarter ago.
The Mi A2 will be available from August 18. It features a 5.99-inch 18:9 display, 4GB RAM, 64GB internal memory, 12 MP+20 MP dual rear and 20 MP front camera, and 3010 mAh battery. The company will launch the 6GB RAM/128GB internal memory version in the coming weeks, Jain said. – Financial Express