Xiaomi’s ongoing fight to claim the third spot in the smartphone market includes releasing more innovative products and plans for a retail store in the UK
In the past couple of years, technology companies and manufacturers appear to be constantly innovating and updating their products and services, with many vendors releasing multiple smartphones, tablets and accessories in a short period of time.
The demand for new products is high, and with so many different companies releasing a large range of stock, it can be hard for them to stand out to consumers.
The UK is one of the countries where there is high demand and various manufacturers to choose from, and it’s also a country that is taking up new products such as smart watches, earbuds and wireless speakers.
One brand that is tackling the needs of UK consumers is Xiaomi, as the manufacturer offers consumer electronics, software, home appliances and household items.
Xiaomi’s director of mobile and consumer technology, Jay Frankenberger, has previously spoken to Mobile News about the company’s aims to be and remain in the top three of the UK’s smartphone market share.
Xiaomi did secure third position in the UK during Q2 2021, but according to a Uswitch article published in September, Xiaomi held nearly three per cent of the market share and was now in 5th place behind Apple, Samsung, Huawei and Motorola.
Recent product releases
Its most recent smartphone launch of the Xiaomi 12T and 12T Pro occurred on October 20, with both featuring a 5,000mAh battery and a RRP of £499 and £699 respectively.
Frankenberger believes that these new phones have a lot to offer UK consumers.
“Whatever we bring out, we want it to be the best value but also have the best features at that price point,” he says.
“We’ve loaded them with flagship features at cracking prices and I think that is one of the biggest attractions to our phones.”
The megapixel camera, 200MP imaging sensor and fast charging are some of the features Frankenberger is impressed with, and he says that not all manufacturers can offer an all day battery.
“With Xiaomi, not only do you get an all day battery, it also charges up in 20 minutes.
“I think it’s bringing innovation as well as flagship features at a price point that is attainable to most people these days in the current climate and that’s a good thing to bring to the market.”
He explains that Xiaomi is a brand that aims to create an ease of use for its customers and that the 12T series are a part of a wider ecosystem.
The wider ecosystem is something Frankenberger believes sets Xiaomi apart from the rest as it offers more than just wearables and hearables.
“We also have weird and wonderful things such as air fryers that can be controlled and managed by the phone and we have robot vacuum cleaners due to come out too.
“It’s not just traditional accessories or products, we’re bringing a lifestyle to the consumer with over 5,000 AIoT products in total.
“No other manufacturer can compete with our ecosystem and this benefits our consumers and our carrier partners who value our innovations and products.”
It’s not just the products on offer that make Xiaomi stand out from the competition, the prices of the products make a difference too.
Frankenberger says that despite the current climate, it has opened up doors for Xiaomi in terms of value for money.
“The air fryer is becoming so popular because people are worried about spending money. If we can bring our products to consumers’ living rooms or kitchen, not only does it do the job they want it to do, they can also control it by their phone and save on their energy bills.”
UK consumer awareness
With the company releasing new smartphones and a whole ecosystem of innovative products, how exactly does this appeal to the UK consumers?
“Price performance ratio and our eco products are something we can offer to the UK, and we’re going after the gen z and young millennials who react and do things differently on social media than older people,” says Frankenberger.
Many UK consumers already know about Xiaomi due to social media and fans of Xiaomi dubbed ‘mi fans’- which Frankenberger claims there are 500,000 of them in Western Europe.
He maintains that Xiaomi can reclaim and maintain the third spot in the UK smartphone market, and that its partners are also helping to promote the brand.
But to increase consumer awareness, sometimes more than just an online presence is needed.
Currently, there is one Xiaomi store in London’s Westfield White City that has been open since 2018 in a bid to drive consumer awareness- but this temporarily closed during lockdown and customers turned to online shopping.
“It is part of our overall global strategy to have ‘experience centres’ where we can showcase a range of our products,” says Frankenberger.
“We would need expansion plans for it- and these plans were aggressive 12 months ago but not so much now. We do have plans to open up a store in the near future in a desirable location in a top city in the UK and this will be key.”
He emphasises that the experience centres will have experts who can demonstrate the use of phones, vacuum cleaners, air fryers, cookers and all other Xiaomi products.
“The UK consumer is quite educated when it comes to smartphones, and they can make a lot of decisions and purchases online,” he says.
“Having something like the Xiaomi scooters would be great to have on display in a store as well as having the experts there who can give the right advice and demonstrate our abilities.
“The high street is still important to the UK, especially after two years of being locked down.
“I think the growth will come from the high street and online, but it will certainly help market awareness by having those retail sites and sales.”