Xiaomi launched the Mi 11 Ultra smartphone at an event on Monday, March 29th. The Chinese smartphone giant hopes the Mi 11 Ultra will help it push into the premium segment of the market.
GUANGZHOU, China – Xiaomi launched a number of new smartphones on Monday, with an advanced device aimed at international markets, as it appears to be squeezing into the premium segment and filling the void left by rival Huawei̵
The units are:
- Mi 11 Lite and Mi 11 Lite 5G
- We 11 Pro
- Mi 11 Ultra
Mi 11 Ultra is the smartphone aimed at international markets in the premium segment. It starts at 5,999 yuan ($ 914) and goes up to 6,999 yuan ($ 1,066) for a higher specification. Xiaomi has not yet said which markets it will be available in outside China.
With the Mi 11 Ultra, Xiaomi is in fierce competition with leaders Samsung and Apple, but also Chinese rivals, including Oppo and Vivo, who have been looking to increase their high-end credentials and expand into more mature markets such as Europe in the last couple of years. year.
“Early last year, we started moving into the high-end market,” Xiaomi CEO Lei Jun said at a launch event on Monday. “I think we have found a foothold in the high-selection market.”
The CEO spent a lot of time talking about the camera on the Mi 11 Ultra, which has three sensors. The camera captures a large amount of real estate on the back of the phone. Lei talked up photography and zoom in low light, as well as the algorithm behind the camera.
Other features include:
- A 6.81-inch screen
- 5G connection
- Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 chipset inside
“These days, the camera makes the phone. Xiaomi knows that and went all-out with Ultra,” Bryan Ma, vice president of client device research at IDC, told CNBC.
“Xiaomi may beat its chest after tonight’s launch, but the competition from rivals is so intense that it can not sit comfortably long.”
Xiaomi is likely to take advantage of some of Huawei’s problems in the smartphone market that have come as a result of US sanctions against the telecommunications giant.
In 2019, Huawei was put on a US blacklist known as the Entity List which restricted US companies from exporting technology to the Chinese company. Google had to cut ties with Huawei, which means that the Chinese company could not use the Android operating system on its devices. It’s not so bad in China where Google services like Gmail and search are blocked. But abroad, consumers are used to using such apps.
And Washington also moved to cut Huawei from the chips it needed for its smartphones.
The United States maintains that Huawei is a national security threat, a claim that the Chinese company has repeatedly rejected.
Xiaomi has also faced scrutiny from the United States The administration of former President Donald Trump designated Xiaomi as “Communist Chinese military companies” or CCMC. It restricted US investors from buying shares or related securities in Xiaomi. But a judge temporarily blocked the move after Xiaomi filed a lawsuit against the United States. Xiaomi said at the time that it was not “owned, controlled or affiliated with the Chinese military.”
Huawei saw its global shipments up 41% last year in the fourth quarter, according to Counterpoint Research. In Europe alone, shipments plunged 62%.
Xiaomi, Oppo and Vivo all saw double-digit smartphone shipping growth in the fourth quarter of 2020, according to Canalys. Xiaomi was the third largest smartphone maker by market share in the same period.
But Xiaomi may not be the best positioned in the premium segment compared to some of its rivals, said Neil Shah, research director at Counterpoint Research.
“Xiaomi is doing well to fill the void left by Huawei in segments from low to medium, especially in Europe, Latin America.” Sa Shah. “The premium segment is still ready. While Samsung and Apple are very well positioned to capture these volumes, among the Chinese brands OnePlus & Oppo should be better receivers.”
Shah said Xiaomi’s Chinese rivals have increased marketing and distribution investments abroad.