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Xiaomi no longer king of budget smartphones in India? | Tech Talks

The Indian budget smartphone market can be defined as smartphones costing under Rs 15,000/-. For many years now, Xiaomi has been the undisputed leader of this segment of the India smartphone market thanks to its amazing value for money devices.

However, I personally believe, it has finally lost its crown!

Over the last couple of years, the competition in the budget smartphone market in India has intensified a lot and Xiaomi, with its growing costs, has been unable to cope with it.

Xiaomi no longer king of budget smartphones in India? | Tech Talks

Here are my reasons why I feel Xiaomi is no longer the king of the Budget Smartphones in India.

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Xiaomi - Fall of the King

When Xiaomi entered the Indian budget smartphone market, it redefined the segment by offering amazing value for money devices at unbelievable costs. It changed the way people looked at budget smartphones. 

To be specific, it spoilt the Indian masses to expect more for less!

Better Competition

And now the same effect is coming back to haunt Xiaomi itself. When it launched its original budget devices - the Redmi 1S and the Redmi Note 4G, there weren't any other devices like them at that price point of under Rs 15,000.

However, today the situation is different. Honor, a sub-brand of Huawei, has a plethora of smartphones at every price point under Rs 15,000 offering similar if not better specifications and features. Their devices have an added advantage of running on custom-designed chips which enables great performance, better battery life and faster Android updates.

Xiaomi no longer king of budget smartphones in India? | Tech Talks

Not just Honor, there is Asus that is offering amazing hardware, for a cheaper price. And then there is RealMe, a sub-brand of OPPO, which is offering amazing hardware configurations at unbelievable prices.

In the budget segment, its hard to build a brand value as at that low price, only specs and value matters. Whichever company offers better specs and value, it sells better.

Growing Costs

With Xiaomi increasing its overall presence in India by launching new factories to build smartphones, as well as running TV ads, its costs are definitely increasing. It is no longer the company that relied heavily on online sales. Now they have a retail presence as well as outdoor and digital ads which add up the costs.

This leads to cost cutting which shows in their devices.

Majority of their smartphones launched in the past 1.5 years have launched with Snapdragon 625 chipset. Since it was cheaper for them to use, they stuck with it without offering any substantial advantages to the users.

Their last good upgrade was the Redmi Note 5 Pro which launched with Snapdragon 636 chipset. And if rumours are to be believed, Xiaomi is repeating it again in their upcoming Redmi Note 6 and 6 pro.

Xiaomi has completely lost the plot!

With devices offering that same chipset and features for a lower price, it becomes hard to recommend a Xiaomi device.

Flash Sales

This is one of the biggest issues I have with Xiaomi. Despite having factories in India and making phones here, they sell their smartphones via flash sales where its always a fight to buy a phone.

Read why I hate Xiaomi!
Every time they launch a new device, one has to go through the arduous process of registering, and competing, in a stupid flash sale to get a device that already has better alternatives readily available for sale in the market.

This, in itself, is enough to put off many prospective buyers. And with options like RealMe 2 and Realme 2 Pro readily available, why would one wait for flash sales.

Final Thoughts

So, it is completely bad for Xiaomi?

Nope. Not yet!

Xiaomi is still one of the most popular brands in the budget segment. Its Redmi Note 5 Pro sold like hot cakes in the Indian market. But apart from that device, its other budget offering like Redmi Note 5, Redmi 6 etc have failed to make a mark.

And the competition itself has been intensifying every month in the budget smartphone segment. 

RealMe has arrived with a bang. Asus is biting on the heels of Xiaomi and Honor seems to be inching ahead with its value for money offerings under Rs 10,000/-.

Unless, Xiaomi comes up with an out of the box marketing strategy, or does something unique that adds value to their devices and sets them apart from the competition, the downhill journey of Xiaomi will continue.

What do you think? Do you agree with me? Let me know in the comments below.

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VIKALP GAUTAM
I am an ardent Techie and a Free Thinker. I love to explore new topics and technologies, and share my knowledge and views with the world.
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