On July 26, China’s leading smartphone maker, Xiaomi, launched Xiaomi 5X and MIUI 9, which features a more stable and energy efficient system. The phone will be on sale in China starting August 1 both online and in offline retail stores.
Xiaomi 5X is powered by the latest Qualcomm Snapdragon 625. The phone features a 5.5-inch 1080p display screen, dual 12-megapixel cameras (a wide-angle lens and a telephoto lens) on the back, and a five-megapixel camera in the front. It has 4GB RAM and 64GB ROM storage. The 3.5mm earphone slot is designed at the bottom with a USB-C slot. With a 3080mAh battery, the phone is available in three colors – rose gold, gold, and black. The phone is priced at RMB 1499 (about USD 222 or INR 14,300).
At the product launch in Beijing, Lei Jun, Xiaomi’s founder & CEO, announced that Xiaomi aims to open 1000 offline stores to sell more products like Xiaomi 5X. Xiaomi has opened 149 stores in China modeled after Apple stores. Lei added that Xiaomi smartphone shipments exceeded 20 million in the second quarter of 2017.
While China has always been Xiaomi’s biggest market, the company is also making strides in overseas markets — particularly in India. Three years ago, Xiaomi earned the largest market share in China, but, since then, it has been losing its market share to Huawei and Oppo. Xiaomi hopes that Indian consumers will drive its profits in the overseas market since the competition is so fierce in China.
In the first quarter of 2017, Xiaomi grabbed 14% of the market share in India, the second largest after Samsung, which took the crown with a 22% market share, according to research by Canalys.
To further develop its international business, Xiaomi confirmed to AllTechAsia on July 28 that it secured a three-year term USD 1 billion syndicated loan from 18 banks. Lei Jun said that “new retail,” which is the integration of online and offline retail, and globalization are two of the company’s top five strategic areas for development. The syndicated loan will further boost its efforts to develop these areas.
Lei Jun has repeatedly stressed the importance of building a product ecosystem. The Android operating system, MIUI, which has helped Xiaomi grow users, is a key part of that ecosystem. Xiaomi said that the new MIUI 9 is smoother, more stable, and more power-efficient. MIUI says that the first batch of adaptation models will be Xiaomi 6, Xiaomi 5X and Redmi Note 4X.
Hong Feng, head of Xiaomi MIUI said that MIUI system has attracted 280 million users globally. However, the previous MIUI 7 came with a lot of built-in advertising which affected the user experience and received much criticism from its fans. MIUI 9’s intelligent ad-blocking function is certainly an upgrade.
(Top photo from Xiaomi)