In the past, there was a time when Xiaomi had created the best-selling smartphones in China. In 2014 and 2015, the brand won the attention and easily persuaded people to open their wallets to buy their products. But things are different now.
The Beijing-based smartphone maker is seeing a 38% drop in sales in the domestic market, compared to the same period last year, according to data from market analysis firm Counterpoint. .
Xiaomi is currently ranked 5th in the ranking of phone brands in China and right below is a series of other small smartphone brands that are on the rise. Therefore, the company's new direction is to seek growth abroad. For the time being, this is exactly where their biggest competitor, Huawei, is in a difficult time due to trade restrictions from the US.
Xiaomi is not afraid to launch new tests on its products, in September, the company launched the Mi MIX Alpha smartphoen with screen surrounds both front and back.
In the early days, Xiaomi built its brand in China by launching well-configured products at low prices. But this tactic was quickly copied by other companies. Brands like Oppo and Vivo, along with Honor – Huawei's sub-brand – have quickly filled the market with entry-level and low-end smartphones, with extremely unique and bold designs to compete.
Xiaomi also followed Huawei's strategy by creating its own low-cost sub-brand, called Redmi. This sub-brand also tried to squeeze in, but it didn't seem to be going as smoothly as expected.
According to Counterpoint analysts, Huawei and Apple have made a strong impression on consumers in the high-end phone market in China. It is not easy for Xiaomi to gain market share from these two rivals.
And while Xiaomi's home market share is shrinking, Huawei is expanding and quickly climbing to account for 42% of the market. This happens when consumers in China increasingly stand around supporting Huawei as the U.S. giant is put on the list of entities restricted from buying technology. Huawei's patriotism and rational marketing and communication strategy have helped the company almost monopolize the domestic market.
But the ban with Huawei is turning into an opportunity for Xiaomi. International consumers still hope to own a cheap Android phone, which comes with Google Play, Google Maps and YouTube.
Of course, this is also a common opportunity for other Android phone brands, not just Xiaomi. But the company was quick to adapt and keenly seized every opportunity. Last month, Xiaomi had its first product launch in Berlin, Germany with the Redmi Note 8 Pro. Germany is one of the largest mobile markets in Western Europe.
Xiaomi has gained popularity in Eastern Europe thanks to its low-price configuration strategy. Redmi 8 Pro is Xiaomi's first smartphone to launch in Germany.
Previously, Xiaomi had infiltrated other countries in Europe, through cooperation with well-known telcos. The company is also proud to say that it is currently the fourth most popular phone brand in Western Europe.
Also last month, Xiaomi opened a camera research and development center in Finland. This is where the company will focus on improving the camera on its smartphone models. Xiaomi's newly released Mi CC9 Pro has used a 108MP sensor, the result of cooperation with Samsung.
And yet, Xiaomi also sees opportunities in other markets around the globe. It is currently the leading smartphone brand in India. The company's phone business is also spreading to Russia and Africa, soon to be Japan.
In the domestic market, recently, Xiaomi's business situation has had some prosperity. The Redmi K20 series sold 4 million units in 4 months, a result worthy of pride. In 2020, the company plans to launch more than 10 5G phone models.
But, there is still a big challenge for this Chinese company. Pushing the business model abroad will make it difficult for the company to convince users about data protection and privacy. Because of that, this is the trauma that has made Huawei miserable.
Refer Abacus News