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Xiaomi launching more expensive phones in India in bid to shed cheap image

The news comes six months after Xiaomi CEO Lei Jun said future Xiaomi phones might be more expensive.

Published onOctober 17, 2019

Redmi K20 Pro showing gradient on back

Xiaomi is arguably the king of the budget phone sector, and it’s had a reputation as a purveyor of cheap smartphones for years now. It seems like the company wants to get rid of this image though — in India, at least.

The company has launched higher end phones in the region recently, such as the Redmi K20 series (also available in Europe). A Xiaomi representative told Reuters that this is part of the firm’s plan to target higher price bands in the country.

“We are inching up in the entire ASP (average selling price) curve,” Xiaomi India COO Muralikrishnan B was quoted as saying. “There is acceptance coming in at the higher end of the price band and in our definition higher end is now 30,000 (rupees).”

Xiaomi’s Redmi and Redmi Note range is usually its bread and butter in India, but the recent Redmi K20 series marks a major foray into the higher end of the market (Xiaomi doesn’t usually bring its Mi flagships to the country). The Redmi K20 devices range from Rs 22,000 (~$309) all the way up to Rs 31,000 (~$436) for the top-end Redmi K20 Pro model.

The representative also told Reuters that it plans to boost the number of offline stores in India. The brand is targeting 10,000 stores by mid-2020, up from 6,000 outlets right now. Furthermore, Xiaomi says it intends to launch a consumer lending business in India as well.

Not the first signal of intent

The back of the Xiaomi Mi 9.

The news comes after Xiaomi CEO Lei Jun reportedly said earlier this year that future Xiaomi smartphones might carry steeper price tags.

“Actually, we want to get rid of this reputation that our phones cost less than 2,000 yuan (~$282). We want to invest more and make better products,” the Xiaomi CEO was quoted as saying by TechNode at the time.

“In the future our phones might get more expensive — not a lot, but a little more expensive.”

Hopefully more expensive high-end Xiaomi phones offer plenty of features and polish to justify the price tags. And here’s hoping they don’t come at the expense of Xiaomi’s volume-shifting devices or 5% profit cap.

Would you buy Xiaomi phones if they’re $400 or more? Let us know in the comments!

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