Dubai: Chinese technology company Xiaomi launched three new smartphones, including its first sub-brand Pocophone F1, in the UAE.
On Wednesday, the world’s fourth-largest smartphone manufacturer is undercutting its rivals with a Pocophone F1, stuffed with high-end features at a mid-range price and redefining the meaning of a smartphone.
Ronnie Wang, regional director for Xiaomi Middle East and Africa, told Gulf News that the intake of Pocophone F1 has been tremendous so far, especially in India.
“In 2017, our sales grew more than 300 per cent year on year in the region. It is good time to launch our sub-brand,” he said.
The handset’s first flash sale on India’s Flipkart earned more than Rs2 billion in less than five minutes and it was also the e-commerce giant’s biggest and fastest flagship sale.
Wang said that the Pocophone is a new series of smartphones for performance, camera and services.
“There’s no competitor in the market that offers so much high-end technology for this price,” he said.
Starting this year, he said that Xiaomi’s hardware business overall net profit margin will never exceed five per cent per year. If it exceeds, he said the company will pass it on to the consumers.
F1 with 6GB of RAM and 128GB of storage capacity is priced at Dh1,349 while the 6GB and 64GB is priced at Dh1,249.
For comparison, Samsung S9 with 4GB of RAM and 64GB of storage capacity is priced at Dh3,099 while the Huawei P20 pro with 6GB of RAM and 128GB of storage capacity is priced at Dh2,999.
The 6.18-inch F1 is powered by Qualcomm’s latest flagship 845 processor with 12MP + 5MP dual camera on the back and 20MP on the front. Both the front and the rear cameras have artificial intelligence capabilities for portrait, beautify and scene detection.
According to market research firm International Data Corporation (IDC), Xiaomi has a market share of 29.7 per cent in India and placed Samsung in the second spot with 23.9 percent share in the second quarter of this year.
Globally, Xiaomi has a market share of 9.3 per cent after Samsung (20.9 per cent), Huawei (15.8 per cent) and Apple (12.1 per cent).
While the company is best known for phones, it has invested in start-ups and now offers air purifiers, drones, TVs, speakers, TV set-top boxes, electric cycles, robots and robot vacuum cleaners.
Ravi Matthew, deputy CEO and General Manager of Task, distributor for Xiaomi phones in the Middle East and North Africa, said that Task sells around 30,000 Xiaomi phones per month in the UAE but the maket is very brand conscious and more focused on Samsung and Apple phones.
“To break into that it, it has been difficult but we are getting into that. Even in India, you have to wait for the flash sale to get an F1. The demand for F1 will be huge as there are many Indian expatriates in the region and they know about the brand,” he said.
“From zero before two years, we have now attained number four ranking in the UAE after Samsung, Apple and Huawei. We are growing 70 per cent year on year in the UAE. Earlier, we had a problem of perception but today it is expected in the region,” he said.
The 5.99-inch Mi A2 is powered by a Qualcomm 660 chip with dual rear cameras (20MP and 12MP) and 20MP front camera. It is priced at Dh1,079 for 6GB RAM and 128GB storage capacity while the 4GB and 64GB version is priced at Dh919.
The 5.84-inch Mi A2 Lite is powered by a Qualcomm 625 processor with dual rear cameras (12MP and 5MP) and 5MP front camera. It is priced at Dh749 for 4GB RAM and 64GB storage capacity while the 3GB and 32GB version is priced at Dh619. All the cameras have AI capability.