Xiaomi is one of the biggest climbers in recent years. China now offers around 2000 different networked products. Additionally, the company behind the Mi product line sells such a broad portfolio that it can hardly be called an electronics manufacturer. In an interview with Xiaomis head of public relations Jacques Xiang Li at IFA 2019, it became clear that the Chinese manufacturer is venturing into the German market with great self-confidence. Basically though:
What plans does Xiaomi have in Germany?
Above all, Xiaomi needs to expand its sales in Germany. After years of sourcing only Chinese products through gray imports, Xiaomi is now launching on a large scale in Germany. Xiang Li explains: “At the end of 2019 we will install additional official channels in Germany. This includes sales through Mi.com, our own fixed Mi stores and the ‘mainstream’ channels Saturn, MediaMarkt, 1 & 1, Amazon, etc. ”The products have yet to be released. Most Germans perceive Xiaomi as a cell phone manufacturer, but “networked devices for everything related to smart homes, smartphones and 5G” are part of the portfolio. Xiaomi is at the forefront when it comes to connected products. “Many” of these devices will arrive in Germany.
What are Xiaomi’s smartphone market targets in Germany?
Xiang Li is very confident. “Everybody wants to be number one. We too, of course ”. The challenge is for the big players in the smartphone sector. But at the moment they are baking smaller buns at Xiaomi: “Right now, our focus is on studying the market.” But how can it be done, Xiang Li explains: “In Spain we have become number three in six months. That is why we are confident that we will also succeed in Germany. “
For Xiaomi, the operator business, that is, sales through mobile phone providers and network operators, as well as the free market, are two pillars that should be used. Xiang Li’s thesis: “More and more people in Germany are buying their smartphones on the open market. Therefore, we have to balance the two channels. “
Xiaomi is aware that Germans tend to buy flagships and remain price sensitive. “That’s why German customers compare a lot. And that’s why Xiaomi was born because we offer the best technical data for the same price or the best price with the same technical data “.
What’s next for 5G smartphones at Xiaomi in Germany?
Xiaomi has so far offered the Mi Mix 3 5G, but that’s not all. “We have many more devices up our sleeve. We will have a full fleet of 5G devices on offer by the end of the first quarter of 2020. ”
Xiaomi prices will continue to be aggressive. “It has always been aggressive and we are seen as a disruptor in the market,” confirms Xiang Li, so we can expect some 5G smartphones well below 1,000 euros. They already exist in the market, but Xiaomi will keep the pressure on Samsung, Huawei and company high.
Software updates and warranty: these are Xiaomi’s plans
Xiaomi claims that it has contracts with third-party providers to ensure the best possible service. Xiaomi complies with the guarantee prescribed by the EU. For example, if you buy a Xiaomi device on Amazon, you can send it directly to a repair service provider or handle the defect through Amazon. “With gray imports, however, we have to decide on a case-by-case basis. For example, a smartphone with Chinese software is not covered by the warranty in Germany, ”Xiang Li explains.
According to the Xiaomi spokesperson, the manufacturer will launch MIUI 11 based on Android 10 very soon. It will supply some new and old smartphones. Work from the two ends to the middle. “Usually we send two updates per month per device. The improvements are based on feedback from users and journalists. They get the devices earlier and provide feedback through testing and reviews. All errors found are eliminated ”. Xiaomi wants to be fast and promises to fix the problems in a few days. “Many of these errors can be fixed in three calendar days.” A sure promise.
What Xiaomi products will there be in Germany?
Xiaomi starts with smartphones like the Mi 9T Pro. The Chinese are already selling Mi 9 and Mi 9SE. There is also the Mi A3, a little cheaper. But outside of the smartphone industry, the real device flood is to be expected: “So far, we have around 2000 networked devices on offer in China. So far, we have sold around 200 networked devices in Italy, France and Spain. We are expanding the range from five to eight devices per month. We hope to reach the same level in Germany, ”said Xiang Li.
According to their own statement, the Chinese will also bring the Mi Smart Band 4, lighting devices, e-scooters, and Mi TV to Germany in the coming months. The smart home division will start “very soon” in Germany. This means that established electric scooter suppliers, smart home makers and wearable device giants are facing new competition that is not afraid to tackle the price war and lead it aggressively.
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