Xiaomi is a very young tech company in the mobile business compared to most other players of the industry. Mobile phones themselves are not very old technology. Commercial Mobile telephony started in mid-90s. So, it was only natural that the first companies came from other background. The first companies like Nokia, Motorola, Sony, Panasonic and even the Samsung, Apple were already a tech company. Mobile telephony was not their first business. So, when Xiaomi jumped straight into mobile phone manufacturing in 2010 it was one of the first companies to do so.
Launched in 2010 in Beijing, China; Xiaomi made roads to India after just 4 years. In 2014, Xiaomi launched in India and its India journey that we are going to focus today. Xiaomi launched in India on 100% online platform. Armed with cheap Chinese manufacturing and policies, the phones appealed the consumers instantly. So much that the websites crashed on the first day itself. They made it to number one selling smartphone brand in 2017, within just 3-years. They were one of the factors pushing 4G penetration in India. The Ecosystem on the consumer side was a big factor which delayed launch of 4G services in India for many years despite licenses being sold. Xiaomi was a leader in supplying cheap 4G phones. Which lead to faster 4G penetration in India. Xiaomi has built offline sales capacity as well since then. Even today more than half of Xiaomi’s sale comes from online platform.
Xiaomi has not been beyond controversy. In 2014, they faced temporary ban by High Court of Delhi due to a complaint filed by Ericsson. Xiaomi has also faced concerns regarding privacy and data thefts. Based out of China, the lack of transparency brings such concerns naturally. But cheap products with reasonable quality has been warding off the privacy and security concerns of price conscious Indian customers.
Since 2014, Xiaomi has launched several mobile phones. Slowly they have ventured into other home appliances also. They are selling Air Purifiers, Water Filters, Smart Televisions, Fitness bands to count a few. They have been expanding their categories continuously. So, it was only a matter of time before Xiaomi started selling laptops.
Xiaomi is set to launch their first laptops next week in India. Powered by Intel i5 and i7, they are priced between 40,000 and 55,000. They come with Solid State Drives, Great graphics cards and fast charging. The sale will start on online platforms- Amazon and Mi website. With the current ongoing lockdown and the Corona pandemic, the Work-From-Home culture is on the rise. And WFH requires personal laptops so the demand of the laptops is going to rise. So, a quality laptop reasonably priced should sale like hot cakes.
However, there has been an increase in tension at India China border. China is being the aggressive oppressive bully. They have destroyed Tiber, they are destroying Hongkong and not to say anything about the human rights issues within their country, and now they want to grab Indian territories. And all this is happening when the world is facing a life-threatening pandemic which incidentally has been gifted by China. Naturally, Indian consumers want to boycott Chinese products. But unfortunately, Indian consumers do not have much money and/or options to be choosy. We will have to see how much Indian consumers are able to resist something they know they want to avoid.