Xiaomi has unveiled its flagship mobile phones, the Xiaomi 13 and 13 Pro, on a worldwide scale in an effort to compete with Apple and Samsung for market share in the high-end segment. While the devices were first released in China in December, the Beijing-based brand is now shipping them to foreign countries.
The Xiaomi 13 Pro is equipped with the most recent Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 chipset from Qualcomm and features a 6.73-inch touchscreen, triple-lens camera, ultra-fast charging, and other high-end features. Xiaomi has also co-engineered the camera with Leica, which the brand boasts about. The starting price of the Xiaomi 13 is 999 euros ($1,053), while the higher-end Pro model starts at 1,299 euros ($1,370).
Xiaomi had a challenging year in 2022, with mobile phone shipments falling 26% year over year, according to research company IDC. This is the largest decline among the top five largest handset makers. In addition, the firm suffered losses in the third quarter of 2022, primarily due to the more challenging socioeconomic climate brought on by a slowing Chinese economy.
Neil Mawston, an analyst at TechInsights, explained that “Xiaomi is facing multiple headwinds inside China from an ever-popular Apple iPhone, a surprisingly strong Honor, and fickle Chinese consumers who often switch between Android hardware brands in a flash.”
Xiaomi has traditionally released high-end products at incredibly low prices, a strategy that has helped it become one of the largest mobile phone brands. About seven years ago, it began seeking to enter global marketplaces using a similar approach. However, it aims to make inroads in the upper end of the market, where margins are greater, and the market is still growing.
Canalys statistics show that the market share of high-end mobile phones, which cost more than $800, increased from 11% in 2020 to 18% in 2022.
However, competing with Apple and Samsung in the luxury category is a difficult task, as Canalys analyst Runar Bjørhovde pointed out, “Not just matching market-leading products, but particularly going up against enormous companies with exceptional brand awareness, high-end perceptions, experience focused solutions and product ecosystems with high user-stickiness.”
Xiaomi is the latest Chinese smartphone player trying to crack the high-end of the market, with Oppo launching its first folding phone for the overseas market this month that costs more than $1,000.