Xiaomi launched its flagship smartphone worldwide this Sunday, February 26, in advance of the MWC 2023 from Barcelona.
The Xiaomi 13 and the Xiaomi 13 Prowhich were already available in China since December, are now reaching international markets with a clear intention: gain market share among high-end phones, a segment dominated by Apple and Samsung.
The Xiaomi 13 Pro has a 6.72-inch display, Leica triple-lens camera, ultra-fast charging, and Qualcomm’s latest Snapdragon-8 2Gen chip. These features and the price, above $1,400, are a clear sign of the objectives of the Chinese company.
The Xiaomi 13, meanwhile, starts at $1,050.
The year was not easy for Xiaomi, which suffered a sharp drop in the sales of its phones (-26 percent compared to 2021. The data is from IDC.
Xiaomi’s sales decline in 2022 was the largest among the top five mobile phone manufacturers.
The cause of Xiaomi’s problems are due to the global macroeconomic environment and the slowdown of the Chinese economy.
In 2022, Xiaomi delivered 1.21 billion smartphones to retailers worldwide, the lowest annual total since 2013.
Xiaomi also faces the difficulty that Apple’s iPhones are becoming more popular in China and that Honor is gaining market share in the Asian giant.
Honor is the Chinese smartphone brand that was spun off from Huawei.
Xiaomi’s strategy to be one of the three largest phone manufacturers in the world (behind only Samsung and Apple) has always been to launch high-performance devices at competitive prices.
It began to venture into markets outside of China less than a decade ago and has done well.
Now, the strategy is to enter the higher end of the market, where the margin is higher and the market continues to grow. In the low and medium segments, market growth is stagnant.
It must be said that high-end smartphones, which are those sold for more than $800, represented 18 percent of the total in 2022, compared to 11 percent in 2020, according to information from canalys.
Xiaomi’s new strategy
Xiaomi’s strategy will inevitably pit it against Apple and Samsung. Those two brands dominate the high-end market: between them they accounted for 92 percent of sales in 2022, according to Canalys data.
The problem for Xiaomi is that both Apple and Samsung have positioned themselves as leaders in the high-end market for years, with exceptional brand recognition, top-level features and solutions focused on consumer experiences, a path that Xiaomi must start moving.
Xiaomi is not alone in this Chinese strategy of entering high-end phones with force.
Oppo launched its first foldable smartphone for the overseas market in February, and it sells for more than $1,000.
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