[Exclusive] Xiaomi Set to Launch New Smartphone; Eyes Tapping Rs. 50,000 Segment

With the new smartphone, Xiaomi will fill the gap between the Redmi Note 13 Pro+ 5G, priced at Rs. 34,999, and the Xiaomi 14, priced at Rs. 69,999.

[Exclusive] Xiaomi Set to Launch New Smartphone; Eyes Tapping Rs. 50,000 Segment
Highlights
  • Xiaomi's new smartphone launch is likely soon
  • It will sit between the Redmi Note 13 Pro+ and Xiaomi 14
  • No details about the smartphone as of now
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Following the launch of the 14 series earlier this year, Xiaomi is now set to make a significant move into a price segment it has previously missed to tap. In a conversation with Gadgets 360, Anuj Sharma, CMO—Xiaomi India, confirmed that the company is preparing to introduce a smartphone priced around Rs. 50,000. This new smartphone from Xiaomi will bridge the gap between the Redmi Note 13 Pro+ 5G, which starts at Rs. 30,999 (8+256GB) and goes all the way up to Rs. 34,999 (12+512GB), and the flagship, Xiaomi 14 at Rs. 69,999. 

"I don't think there is anyone who does a great Rs. 50,000 smartphone. And this is where we actually wanted to do the whole Xiaomi thing that we normally do and see if we can bring in a device that does justice," Sharma told Gadgets 360. 

Without sharing more details on the upcoming Xiaomi smartphone, Sharma added that the new smartphone would be an excellent all-rounder. 

"When you are approaching a price band in the middle, Rs. 50,000 is a critical price point in the premium segment, equivalent to Rs. 9,999 in the economy segment. When this online thing started in 2014-2015, a Rs. 9,999 and a Rs. 10,999 product was perceived vastly differently in India. Likewise, going north of Rs. 50000 or staying below 50K significantly changes the consumer mindset. Over the years, the Rs. 50,000 smartphone segment has been forgotten," Sharma stressed while discussing why this segment has lately been a missed opportunity for most smartphone players. 

Currently, the Rs. 50,000 price band has only limited players. There's iQOO, which markets its devices for performance-oriented users. OnePlus, primarily, has been doing great in this segment, riding high on the success of 11R and 12R, but both had minor specs upgrades and are barely ground-breaking in terms of the offering at this price. Then, Apple and Samsung have very different approaches. Apple's iPhone SE is there for those who want a small smartphone or can switch to the iPhone 13 at discounted prices on e-commerce giants. Samsung recently launched the Galaxy A55 at Rs. 45,000, making the base S24 costlier this year. The gap in the smartphone market is apparent, and Xiaomi is looking to tap into it. 

anuj sharma xiaomi g360 Anuj Sharma

Anuj Sharma, CMO - Xiaomi India, during a briefing for Xiaomi 14 (February 2024)

Xiaomi in 2024

Xiaomi has been a key player in the smartphone market this year, experiencing significant growth. According to analyst reports, the launches of the Redmi Note and Xiaomi 14 series have been well-received. IDC's latest report indicates that Xiaomi is leading the sub-$100 smartphone segment. This positive momentum has carried over from 2023, following a challenging 2022 for the company. 

Sharma talked about how the company incorporated feedback from its community and lessons learned from the Xiaomi 13 Pro launch last year. One of the biggest learnings for Xiaomi has been simplifying its product portfolio to make it easier for consumers to choose. 

On being asked about any dedicated strategy for the upcoming smartphone around Rs. 50,000, like an upgrade offer for existing Xiaomi users, Sharma explained, "Over the last five years, between Rs. 20,000 to 40,000, we have had some super successful launches - Redmi K series, which was Rs. 22 to 27K, then Xiaomi 10i, 11i and then 11i Hypercharge - all of them had some significant volumes. All of them were on a three-year upgrade cycle. If we can do the right justice at the right price point and the right laddering, it becomes a good pathway for upgrade," Sharma explained. 

On being asked about the consumer feedback for Xiaomi 14 and Xiaomi 14 Ultra, Sharma said it was mostly positive. 

"An extension of the Xiaomi 13 Pro in a way. It sowed the seeds right. A lot of people were sceptical at that time- if they wanted to purchase this product at 80K, but a year later, it has become really hard for us to create a trade-in program for that phone. People are not willing to give back. We met a couple of folks who bought the 14 Ultra while keeping the 13Pro with them. They want to use both. We created that kind of differentiation."

Is the offline market important for premium smartphones?

Xiaomi already has a massive retail presence, and they would use it to spread the word about their expanding premium smartphone range. 

On offline strategy, Sharma explained, "The entire retail strategy is built on experience. We started moving a bit more in this direction after the pandemic opened because as you go higher up in a particular price point, the first device that you buy from a brand or series has to be offline. Most people end up trying it up a couple of times and decide. Later, if they buy it on Mi.com or Flipkart or Amazon, that doesn't matter. But the experience comes from the retail counters."

"So early last year, we spoke about building more retail capabilities. We are working on that aspect. Whether you are going to Mi home or Mi stores, or we are working with our organised trade partners but going that even some of the multi-brand outlets, the smaller outlets, we are trying to ensure there is some kind of demo, there is a bit more of understanding with a shopkeeper in terms of what we offer so that they are able to make things right and they are able to talk about the right products. The magic for the Xiaomi 14 and Ultra lies in the first time you hold it. There is no spec sheet that can make you believe and then the moment you start the camera," he added.

We should be hearing more about the upcoming Xiaomi smartphone soon. Stay tuned to Gadgets 360. 

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Further reading: Xiaomi
Ketan Pratap
Ketan Pratap is the editor at Gadgets 360 - with over 12 years of experience covering the technology domain. With a breadth and depth of knowledge in the field, he's done extensive work across news, features, reviews, and opinion pieces. But what's truly inspiring about Ketan is how he spends his free time. He's often found gazing at snow-capped mountains from over 20,000 feet while sitting on the hood of his car, taking in the breathtaking beauty of nature. His passion for the great ...More
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