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Xiaomi Learning Offline Game From Samsung: Report

“We want to make money from Internet service like Mi Video (a pre-installed video app which provides integrated video streaming across platforms),” Jain said

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Xiaomi
Xiaomi.

Xiaomi and Samsung are the arch rivals in the India smartphone market but it doesn’t mean they do not have anything to learn from each other. Ask Xiaomi’s India Managing Director Manu Kumar Jain and you have the answer.

In his first-ever humble admission, Jain says the company is learning from other brands, including the offline giant Samsung, in its push for retail sales in the country.

Xiaomi, largely known as an online brand, started its offline journey in India just two years ago and claims that it has already captured 20 per cent share of the offline smartphone business in the country.

“It was a tough beginning. We were hardly able to sell any smartphone offline in the first six months,” Jain told a select group of journalists here.

“We are learning from other other brands such as Samsung and Vivo in expanding our offline presence in the country,” Jain added.

According to market research firm Counterpoint Research, aggressive offline expansion helped Xiaomi retain its top position in the India smartphone market in the first quarter of 2019 with a 29 per cent share, though its shipments declined by two per cent year-over-year.

Samsung, which recently launched the online-only “M” smartphone series, followed the Chinese smartphone maker with 23 per cent share, a drop of three per cent from 26 per cent share in the same quarter last year.

Xiaomi has now set a target of opening 10,000 retail stores in the country and aims to have 50 per cent of its smartphone sales in India from offline channels by the end of this year.

samsung
Galaxy S10 is the only smartphone that has a hole in OLED display itself. Pixabay

Jain explained that the company’s scope of growth in India’s online market share became limited after it captured over 50 per cent share in that market.

This is one of the main reasons why the company is pushing its offline expansion aggressively. But offline expansion also brings with it additional cost and Jain had no hesitation in admitting that.

Responding to a question by IANS on whether the aggressive offline push could hurt its profitability, especially because Xiaomi has a policy of not keeping more than five per cent profit margin from its hardware, Jain said: “It is true that the cost of doing business in offliine is higher than online.

“I can say confidently that our cost of running offline business would be the lowest among all the brands. Other brands generally tend to have three-four layers of distributors – national, state, city and sometimes, even micros distributors – before the product reaches the retailers and consumers. But we have only one level of distribution,” he explained.

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“The biggest hit on profitability does not come from offline. It comes from dollar fluctuations. If dollar goes up, our cost goes up. This is because even though we are manufacturing components in India, most of the components are still purchased in dollar.”

Even though its operational expenses in selling smartphones goes up, that should not be the company’s biggest worry in the future as its aim is to earn most of the mullah from its Internet services.

“We want to make money from Internet service like Mi Video (a pre-installed video app which provides integrated video streaming across platforms),” Jain said. (IANS)

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Realme, Samsung Have Lowest Return Rates Among All Smartphone Brands in India

When it comes to reliability, Realme users rank their smartphones high (90 per cent), followed by Samsung (88 per cent) and Vivo (87 per cent)

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samsung
To get ahead in the fast-changing tech industry, Samsung said it will expand investment in burgeoning tech segments to propel growth. Wikimedia Commons

Chinese handset maker Realme and South Korean major Samsung have the lowest return rates among all smartphone brands in India, a survey by CyberMedia Research (CMR) said on Thursday.

The “CMR MICI” survey that included 4,000 smartphone owners across top eight Indian cities, focused on smartphone purchase process, key smartphone specs of priority, as well as issues with post-sales service, including repairs or replacements.

“The return rates in smartphone brands provide a measure of consumer satisfaction with their current brand and, in turn, implies that the brands have been able to excel in meeting consumer expectations. Our survey findings report the lowest return rate for brands, such as Realme and Samsung, in comparison to the prevailing industry average,” Prabhu Ram, Head-Industry Intelligence Group (IIG), CMR, said in a statement.

The lowest return rates are determined by the first visit to the brand’s service centre within the first six months of purchase, for either repair or replacement, by both online as well as offline buyers.

Around three per cent of the total smartphone users visited a service centre for the first time within the first six months of their smartphone purchase, during the in-warranty period.

Realme, Online, Smartphone
Armed with a quad camera-system smartphone in every price segment along with an investment worth Rs 300 crore for its surface-mount technology (SMT) lines, Chinese handset maker Realme aims. Pixabay

When it comes to looks, design and feel, users of Vivo are most satisfied (99 per cent), followed by OPPO and Realme users (98 per cent each), and at third place, Xiaomi with 97 per cent satisfaction.

Across smartphone brands, users are excited about the design aesthetics, camera performance and build quality that phones sport across price bands.

Users indicated more satisfaction with intangible factors that they associate with their smartphones, including reliability and performance.

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“In order to win consumer mindset, smartphone brands need to invest in getting not just product design and product quality right, but they must ensure overall brand experience, and service quality right,” Ram added.

When it comes to reliability, Realme users rank their smartphones high (90 per cent), followed by Samsung (88 per cent) and Vivo (87 per cent). (IANS)