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Xiaomi: The Chinese brand dominating India’s smartphone market

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“It started by putting out phones that were iPhone lookalikes,” Ms Bhargava said. “Their first crop of phones was constantly compared to the Apple product and the company even got criticised for it.”

But it was not just that Xiaomi’s phones looked like iPhones. They were also packed with features and hardware that made Indians feel that they were getting more bang for their buck.

Its flagship Redmi range of phones, for instance, include a 64-megapixel camera but are affordable, starting at 9,999 rupees ($141) and going up to 17,999 rupees ($254).

Indian consumers quickly gravitated towards the phones – which gleamed like iPhones but at one-third the price.

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  • “Everyone wants an iPhone, but will settle for a lookalike until they can afford the real thing,” Mr Kolla said, adding that his firm’s research has found that Indian consumers often upgrade to a “premium smartphone”, most likely an Apple or Samsung mobile, as soon as their disposable income rises.

“The way they approached their pricing helps explain their popularity in India – consumers were getting better features than before but at rock-bottom prices,” Mr Kolla said.

Another reason for Xiaomi’s rise, as well as that of other Chinese smartphone makers, was the slow collapse of India’s home-grown mobile brands due to the lack of 4G capability.

“There was a time when you had Indian brands like Micromax leading the market,” Neil Shah, a technology analyst at Counterpoint Research, said. “But everything changed around 2016 and 2017 when 4G was introduced in India.”

Image result for The company is the number one smartphone brand in India
The company is the number one smartphone brand in India

By the time 4G arrived in India, Chinese companies had already managed to successfully outfit cheap phones with 4G tech, and were selling them back home.

“This made it much easier for them to transition their mobiles from 3G to 4G overnight in India. It’s what ultimately killed the Indian brands,” Mr Shah said.

Be that as it may, rivalry for the Indian market stays wild and nobody organization has commanded it for a really long time.

A lot of the market has not developed from 28% since a year ago, flagging a level. Korean tech monster Samsung is additionally not far behind at 25%; and more up to date Chinese brands like Realme are likewise winding up increasingly prevalent among Indian clients.

Image result for Xiaomi: The Chinese brand dominating India's smartphone market

This could clarify why Xiaomi plunged its toes in the premium cell phone showcase prior this year, with another scope of telephones called the K-20 series.”A couple of years back, the exceptional market was around three to four percent of the Indian cell phone advertise. This has now developed,” Xiaomi’s India chief, Manu Jain, said in a meeting with the Hindu paper in July.

He included that the organization had set its sights past the reasonable cell phone showcase.

Be that as it may, Xiaomi’s costs, which range from 20,000 to 30,000 rupees ($282 to $423), didn’t place it in the class of the iPhone or Galaxy cell phones, which sell for significantly more.

“It’s neither here nor there,” Mr Shah said.

As per Mr Kolla, the Chinese organization needs to “continue pushing its points of confinement” on the off chance that it needs to sit close by Apple and Samsung.

“In the event that they don’t develop and bring new items, they’ll be stuck selling less expensive telephones for some time.”