In the smartphone segment, Samsung is already been stung badly by the challenge from Xiaomi, with the latter pushing Samsung to second spot in India
Xiaomi has continuously been entering one product category after another in India, and the latest addition may be Mi TV. The launch is expected on Valentine's day, February 14 along with the Redmi Note 5.
While the Redmi Note 5, thanks to its earlier launch in China, is a strongly anticipated device here with advance reviews marking it out as another potential winner, this time it has company. Xiaomi has released a teaser and a video about another upcoming device on Twitter which says, “Mi fans! Is it a bird? Is it a plane? #WhatIsThat Something wonderful is about to happen this Valentine’s Day.”
If we look at the teaser video, it hints that the mystery launch may be an ultra-slim television because we still don't have that kind of a product at the right price yet in the market.
If Xiaomi does launch a television, it will help them position themselves as a consumer electronics company rather than a smartphone company, which will further worry Samsung, besides LG of course. For in the wider consumer durables categories, especially TV, Samsung has had a superb reign at the top, and has done much to bridge the perception gap vis a vis Sony televisions to be seen as the leader in both numbers and perception. If Xiaomi launches its TVs, it is expected to come up with attractive pricing for its TV range and value adds concerning content and UI, areas where Samsung has probably been a little behind the curve recently.
If we look at the TV portfolio of Xiaomi, it has 32 inches, 43 inches, 49 inch, 50 inch, 55 inch and 65 inch TV sets under the Mi TV 4A series in China. The latest addition being Mi TV 4A which has a 50-inch screen. It offers a 4K display (3840 x 2160 pixels resolution), 178-degree wide angle view and 5000:1 contrast ratio. A 1.5 GHz quad-core Amlogic L962 Cortex-A53 processor with 750MHz Mali-450 MP3 GPU powers this device along with 2 GB RAM. It offers 8 GB of internal memory too.
The 50 inch Mi TV 4A is based on Android operating system and has the MIUI interface. In this, there are connectivity options like WiFi 802.11 ac (2.4 / 5GHz), Bluetooth 4.2 LE, Mi Port, 3 x HDMI, AV, 2 x USB and Ethernet. It also supports HDR 10 and HLG,H.263, H.264, H.265 and MPEG1 video formats. There are two 8W speakers and it comes with DOLBY AUDIO / DTS- HD audio dual decoding support.One thing that is certain is that Xiaomi's TV series will not follow the fate of LeECo, another Chinese player that ventured into TV's too in India, and despite solid reviews, crashed and burned on the back of poor management and planning.
In the smartphone segment, Samsung is already facing a tough challenge from Xiaomi where the later has been pushed to the second spot. As per Counterpoint research, Xiaomi has 25 percent smartphone market share in India in Q4 2017. On the other hand, Samsung has just 23 percent market share. Lenovo, Oppo and Vivo followed them with 6 percent share. In the recent past, Xiaomi has even ventured into the offline market after establishing itself as a leader in online space. The only saving grace for Samsung has been the fact that Xiaomi's gains have mostly come at the expense of fellow Chinese travellers Oppo and Vivo, besides the Indian players.
If we talk about Xiaomi Redmi Note 5 which is expected to be a Flipkart exclusive device, it is said to have an 18:9 display. Multiple reports suggest that the smartphone could be powered by a 2.0GHz 64-bit Qualcomm Snapdragon 630 octa-core processor. The phone might come with a 32GB/64GB internal storage. The smartphone could runs on Android 7.1 Nougat operating system with MIUI 9 on top and it could sport a big battery backup, similar to what we have seen in the Redmi Note 4. Other rumours claim that the smartphone will also carry support for facial recognition.
The smartphone will have a dual camera setup and on the connectivity front, the device supports 4G VoLTE, WiFi 802.11 ac, Bluetooth 4.2, GPS, GLONASS and dual-SIM support. As far as pricing is concerned, the Redmi Note 5 is said to be priced at 1,499 Yuan (approx. Rs 15,037) for 3GB RAM and 1,799 Yuan (approx. Rs 18,050) for 4GB RAM variant.