Mi 11 to launch in India soon, Mi 10i makes brand more approachable: Xiaomi

Mi 11 India launch has reportedly been confirmed by a Xiaomi executive. The brand expects to finalise the exact models by the end of January.

Highlights
  • Mi 11 series India launch expected soon
  • The brand is using Mi 10i to make it more approachable in the premium segment
  • The Xiaomi executive has admitted that lockdown affected Mi 10’s success in India

Xiaomi Mi 11 India launch is on cards as confirmed by Sumit Sonal, Marketing Lead, Mi Brand to The Indian Express. However, the company is yet to finalise the exact models that will be made available in the country. The executive says Xiaomi is still thinking about the SKUs (stock keeping unit) that it wants to bring to India but should finalise the entire lineup by the end of January. To recall, Mi 11 launched in China late last month and there are speculations that Xiaomi may introduce Mi 11 Pro in February with superior specifications and probably some design changes as well.

Also read: Mi 10i goes on sale in India today for Amazon Prime members: price, specifications

The Mi 10i launched in India on Tuesday as an India-specific variant of the Mi 10T Lite that launched globally in September. The smartphone comes with a 108MP primary camera. It is the first phone in India to come with Samsung’s new HM2 sensor. Sonal mentioned the camera optimisations are done in India mostly and the company now has a dedicated lab and a team working for the same.

Mi 10i launch event in India today

This is the first time that there is a Mi phone in the sub Rs 20,000 and Rs 25,000 price range in a really long time. “The idea is to make the brand approachable. And that’s what the entire positioning for the Mi 10i specifically is. In this particular price bracket, which is mostly going to be the Rs 20,000 to Rs 30,000, we will be competing against the OnePlus Nord and the Samsung M51,” Sonal told The Indian Express. When asked whether the brand will introduce more phones in the price segment, the executive said the brand will evaluate the “success ratio” before it comments on more products.

The idea is to make the brand approachable. And that’s what the entire positioning for the Mi 10i specifically is.

For now, with the Mi 10i, the company is aiming to tap into the Rs 20,000 price segment and help establish the brand further in the affordable premium market. “This is the product which we are aiming at, which will get us that visibility and that credibility which the Mi brand has been looking for,” Sonal added. Compared to Mi 10, which starts at Rs 44,999, the Mi 10i is a lot more accessible despite packing in a lot of features. “We are pegging big on this one because this also becomes our entry into people’s lifestyle, which we have been trying for a while. An OnePlus user would consider a Mi 10i as a very good alternative in that particular segment, that is the vision we have,” Sonal said.

Separately, Sonal has admitted that lockdown has hit the Mi 10’s prospects. “In the premium segment, once the global launch happens, it’s very difficult to sustain that excitement for a very long time. In the most ideal scenario, we should have actually launched it much prior, which did not happen,” noted the executive. To recall, the Mi 10 originally launched in February but made it to India only in May due to lockdown.

Talking about the brand’s struggle to shed the ‘affordable’ brand tag, Sonal admitted that this perception is a problem but clarified that it can’t run away from it and the idea is to portray Mi brand as a much more premium offering. “You will not spend Rs 35-40,000 on a product which you do not love as a brand. But with good products and marketing, we plan to change that. Perception changing is a long game. It will take time, a lot of investment, and the right people to actually focus on that,” he added.