Watch out OnePlus, Samsung: Xiaomi returns to premium segment with Poco sub-brand
Xiaomi sub-brand Poco will focus on delivering phones with high performance and at affordable prices. Here’s everything you need to know about Poco by Xiaomi.
Riding high on the success of its budget Redmi phones, Xiaomi has raced to the top in the Indian smartphone market. The only category it has been missing in action for some years is the premium category - the ₹30,000 plus market, currently dominated by the likes of OnePlus, Samsung and Apple. But this is changing as Xiaomi has just announced a new sub-brand called "Poco by Xiaomi."
Spearheaded by Xiaomi's Jai Mani, the new Poco brand will focus on delivering premium phones at affordable prices.
"Poco is all about making a powerful smartphone with the technologies that truly matter. Recently it feels like the pace of innovation in the smartphone industry has slowed down, while prices are creeping up with flagship smartphones now past the $1000 mark. We set out to build something to buck this trend. For the first product, we got to basics and focus entirely on speed. Not just peak performance speed, but actual, real world speed," Jai Mani wrote in a Facebook post.
It is worth noting that OnePlus tapped the Indian premium smartphone market with a similar strategy - by delivering phones with top-end specifications and at affordable prices. OnePlus has now raced to the number one slot in the segment during second quarter of this year, according to a recent Counterpoint Research report.
OnePlus' meteoric growth has also dented the market share of rivals Apple and Samsung. "OnePlus led the premium smartphone segment for the first time ever in India, capturing 40% of the market driven by record shipments of its OnePlus 6 as compared to its previous flagships. OnePlus was also the fastest growing brand in the premium segment (+446%) while shipments for Apple and Samsung declined YoY," said the Counterpoint Report. ALSO READ: It's time Xiaomi joined India's premium smartphone segment
Xiaomi's comeback to premium market
It will not be the first time Xiaomi will try to penetrate the premium segment in India. Back in 2015, the company introduced its flagship Mi 5 smartphone, which failed to take off in India. Currently, Xiaomi's most expensive phone is Mi MIX 2, which sells for ₹29,999. The second most expensive in the lineup is Xiaomi Mi A2, which hovers around ₹17,000. After an underwhelming run with Mi 5, the company hasn't introduced its flagship phones like Mi 8 in India while they are available in China. Most of the budget phones from Xiaomi come to India sooner or later.
According to reports, the first phone from Poco by Xiaomi is going to be called 'Pocophone'. As expected, the phone comes with Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 processor, 6GB of RAM and 12-megapixel camera with high-end sensors, and 4,000mAh battery. As far as the pricing goes, it's speculated to be priced around ₹30,000- ₹35,000 - competing with OnePlus 6 which starts in India at ₹34,999 for the base model with similar specifications.