Xiaomi is trying to enter the high-end smartphone market with the Xiaomi 13 Pro. It will put the Chinese giant against rivals Apple and Samsung.
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Xiaomi launched its world flagship smartphone on Sunday as the Chinese electronics giant tries to capture a slice of the high-end market and challenge Apple and Samsung.
Xiaomi Mi 13 and 13 Pro were originally launched in China in December, but now the Beijing-based company is bringing the devices to overseas markets.
The Xiaomi 13 Pro has a 6.73-inch screen and the latest Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 chipset from the US company Qualcomm. It has a triple lens camera and other premium features like super fast charging. The company talked about the capabilities of its camera, which it “co-engineered” with the German company Leica.
Xiaomi 13 starts at €999 ($1,053) while the 13 Pro starts at €1,299.
Xiaomi had a rough year in 2022 in which smartphone shipments fell 26% year-on-year, according to research firm IDC, the biggest drop among the five biggest phone vendors. The company turned to a loss in the September quarter, the latest financial results available.
Xiaomi has faced a number of headwinds, notably a tougher macroeconomic environment with the slowdown in China’s economy. A total of 1.21 billion smartphones were shipped in 2022, which is the lowest annual shipment total since 2013, according to IDC.
“Xiaomi faces multiple headwinds within China from the wildly popular Apple iPhone, surprisingly strong Honor, and fickle Chinese consumers who often switch between Android brands in the blink of an eye,” TechInsights analyst Neil Mawston told CNBC by email. “.
Honor is the Chinese smartphone brand that is spin off from Huawei.
Xiaomi has turned into one of the biggest smartphone makers over the years with a strategy of bringing out high spec devices at very competitive prices. It started rushing into overseas markets about seven years ago, following a similar strategy. But now it’s looking to push into the higher end of the market, where margins are rising and the market is still growing.
Canalys data shows that high-end smartphones, which cost more than $800, accounted for 18% of the total phone market in 2022, up from 11% in 2020. Pushing Xiaomi to the premium level would put it against Apple and Samsung, which would be a challenge. to the Chinese competitor. Samsung and Apple devices accounted for 92% of the high-end market in 2022, according to Canalys.
“Competing with Apple and Samsung is very difficult. Not only matching market-leading products, but especially facing huge companies with exceptional brand awareness, cutting-edge visualizations, focused solution experience and product ecosystems with high user commitment,” Runar Bjørhovde, research analyst at Canalys, told CNBC via email.
Xiaomi is the latest Chinese smartphone player trying to break into the high-end market. Oppo launched its first foldable phone for the overseas market this month at a cost of more than $1,000.
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