What times are those in which Xiaomi high-end they were only in specifications and not in price. The Chinese manufacturer set the standard and set an example: we could have the same specifications of the best mobile phones on the market at half the price of these.
Things were gradually changing, and in recent years we have seen how Xiaomi has continued to resemble the greats in specifications, but it also happened that it was increasingly closer to the prices of its rivals. That is confirmed more than ever with the new Xiaomi Mi 10 and Mi 10 Pro, one of whose variants is priced at 999 euros. It seems that the era in which Xiaomi flagships were also a real bargain for price is over.
Goodbye to the ‘chollotelephones’ of Xiaomi
We already pointed it out after the presentation of these mobiles last February. At that time Xiaomi only offered the sale prices in China, but already those prices made it clear that the cost increase was notable.
From the 3,299 yuan of the Mi 9 (8 GB + 128 GB) last year, we went down to the 3,999 yuan of the Mi 10 (8 GB + 128 GB), an increase of more than 21% of the price. The case of the Mi 10 Pro (12 GB + 256 GB) was even worse, costing 34% more than the Mi 9 Pro (12 GB + 256 GB) of the previous year.
The evolution of prices in Spain has been parallel. The Xiaomi Mi 9 (6 GB + 128 GB) arrived in our country with a price of 499 euros. The Mi 10 5G model (8 GB + 128 GB) will be priced at 799 euros. The difference is notable even taking into account that several hardware sections improve and above all that it also supports 5G networks.
Are they enough excuses? That will have to be decided by the consumer, but as expected, 5G connectivity has served as an excuse to raise prices of various models that have appeared in recent weeks, but in Xiaomi that price increase has been especially notable.
This is especially noticeable in the new Xiaomi Mi 10 Pro. When the Xiaomi Mi 9 Pro 5G appeared in September 2019, it did so at a price of 3,799 yuan for the model with 8 GB of RAM and 256 GB of capacity. That same variant of the Xiaomi Mi 10 Pro costs 999 euros. For the first time, the manufacturer fiddles with the famous psychological barrier.
The funny thing is that Xiaomi has taken a much more pronounced leap than other manufacturers in this regard. As we pointed out in February, Samsung and OnePlus have kept the prices of their high ranges at very similar levels to those of the last generations.
Even the increase in the case of Apple’s iPhone has been discreet considering that this manufacturer is usually a reference when it comes to establishing price trends: that iPhone X that definitively crossed the 1,000 euro barrier became the first of many.
It is strange to see that price tag on one of its terminals, especially when for years the image of this manufacturer has been associated with the ‘bargain phones’ that offered hardware features comparable to those of their competitors but with much more affordable prices.
Xiaomi does not need to battle on prices: it already has Poco and Redmi for that
In a way, this manufacturer’s strategy is logical: long ago that the terminals of your family Mi and Mi Note made the clear difference in that vocation to become legitimate rivals of the best terminals of Apple, Samsung or Huawei.
That ambition led to the creation of mobile families that have ended up becoming subsidiary brands with their own strategy. First there were the Redmi -which quickly conquered the market in India-, then the Black Shark and later the Poco that for now have been lavished less but that has been renewed with the Poco X2 that they have recently presented.
Although in the case of the Pocophone the association is not so obvious, the Redmi have managed to make us continue to perceive them as “one more Xiaomi”, with the advantages that this entails. They have inherited that exceptional price / performance ratio, something that Xiaomi used to do in its Mi and that now seems to have left some Redmi that are especially competitive and that are already benchmarks in the mid-range market.
And that’s precisely what Xiaomi probably wanted: to leave the mid-range and entry-level market to its new brands, and transition to a strategy that places it closer than ever to its direct rivals in the high-end range.
Crossing the 1,000 euro barrier is neither good nor bad, quite the opposite
Xiaomi’s new proposals are, of course, unique due to this price increase. Those who have followed the path of the manufacturer can feel somewhat betrayed for that Xiaomi jump, but it will be the market and the users – very owners of spending their money as they see fit – who will decide if Xiaomi has succeeded with these proposals.
Is a 1,000 euro Xiaomi better with a 1,000 euro Apple, Samsung or Huawei phone? In the latter case, things have radically changed with some proposals that Google applications and services do not enjoy, but there are certainly factors that will undoubtedly make comparisons interesting like the quality of its cameras or the autonomy of its batteries, for example.
Criticisms of Xiaomi may emerge due to this new pricing strategy, but the discourse is the same as when we have seen how other manufacturers already comfortably exceed 1,000 euros in their proposals and they even propose a future in which 2,000 euro terminals might not be so rare. We are seeing it with mobile phones with a folding screen, but even “conventional” terminals already exceed 1,500 euros without messing up (coughs, S20 Ultra, coughs).
At Xiaomi it seems clear that now that they are absolutely well positioned in the mid-range segment, the goal is compete once and for all in that segment that allows you to obtain higher profit margins -By the way, what happened to that promise of the 5% margin? – while maintaining their proposals in other ranges with the Redmi and Poco.
Fortunately for users the reality is clear: there are options for everyone, and the 1,000 euros of the Xiaomi Mi 10 Pro seem almost anecdotal when today more than ever it is possible to achieve fantastic benefits for much less. Maybe we no longer need a Xiaomi with chollotephones in our life. Perhaps what is happening is that there are a lot of cool telephones out there, fortunately.