Did Xiaomi miss a trick by pricing the Mi 4 close to 20,000 INR in India?


xiaomi mi4 review

After spending seven months in the Chinese market, the Xiaomi Mi 4 finally made its way into India earlier today. The phone is essentially going to go head-on with devices like the OnePlus One, Huawei Honor 6, etc., and at 20,000 INR (US$325), the phone seems to have crossed the budgets of many a buyer in India.

The general consensus is that the ‘honeymoon’ period for Xiaomi is over. It refers to the fact that the Mi 3, the Redmi 1S and the Redmi Note were all priced below the selling prices of the respective devices in China. That set the tune in the Indian market, which happens to be one of the most price sensitive around the world.

Needless to say, each one of Xiaomi’s phones have sold like hot cakes. The Mi 4 however, will probably tell a completely different story. Xiaomi might have missed a trick by pricing the device at 20,000 INR rather than closer to the 16-17,000 INR mark.

Mi 4 hopefuls from the country have taken to online fora to vent their frustration; and some points raised by many sound certainly valid. The Xiaomi Mi 4 launched in India (i) does not have 4G LTE support, (ii) comes with just 16GB of storage, and (iii) offers no color choice; take it or leave it (in white).

If you ask for my opinion, 15,000 INR certainly sounds lucrative but is quite far-fetched. That is something which could probably happen in 6-7 months from now when prices go down, but right now, it certainly doesn’t look like a missed opportunity. However, Xiaomi could certainly have done better to price the device at around 18,000 INR (US$293) to give the phone a better chance. With the 16GB version of the OnePlus One around the corner (I have a feeling it’s going to be quite a bit cheaper than the Mi 4), Xiaomi have more than just one thing to worry about.

The Mi 4 will be available for purchase in India starting February 10th via Flipkart, with registrations already being accepted.

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51 Comments

  1. barry
    January 28, 2015

    If Indians don’t want to pay $325 for a Xiaomi Mi 4, there are thosands of international buyers who would gladly do so

    • bbc
      January 28, 2015

      mi note launched i would not go for mi4 wcdma/16gb for $325+other charges

      • Bojan Radovanović
        January 28, 2015

        Well, as Note…its just to big.
        so it’s not competitor to mi4

        • bbc
          January 30, 2015

          5 inch is not small for single hand use and note has a slimmer and curved back

    • cunningstunts
      January 29, 2015

      Well, they are not launching in your country, are they? Stop being so stupid.

  2. Vijay Sud
    January 28, 2015

    By Indian market scenario the $ 325 price point has to fetch better bang for buck than the severely crippled 16 GB. White Mi4 does. Of course the starved international buyers should welcome this manna from heaven..but average Indian mobile buyer is better served at this price point by other choices. Xiaomi magic works in India due to value for money..no VFM. .no magic..It will be reflected in lack of rush of customers..on 10th Feb. For Mi4 in India.

    • Airyl
      January 28, 2015

      Seems like India just likes mid range phones to me.

    • MaxPower
      January 28, 2015

      What kind of phones you have over there better than MI4 for 325$?
      Just curious

      • Faux-News
        January 29, 2015

        Huawei Honor 6 for 17k being sold in India since November.

    • balcobomber25
      January 30, 2015

      Lets compare the price of this to the price of similar phones selling in India on Flipkart:

      HTC Desire – 22,000 (all numbers rounded up)
      Iphone 5s – 37,500
      Iphone 6 – 53, 500
      HTC One M8 – 36,000
      Moto X – 30,000
      Galaxy S4 – 27,000
      Micromax Canvas – 21,000

      Xiomai Mi 4 – 20,000

      They will have no problem selling millions of units like they have every other phone they released in India. Xiaomi’s main competitor is Apple, that is who they view as their main rival. You might look at as a Honor 6 for 3K cheaper but they look at as a Mi4 for 30k cheaper than an Iphone 6.

      • guest
        January 30, 2015

        If anyone wants an iphone, he’ll buy an iphone.
        While xiaomi is emerging as a brand, it still doesn’t have the trust levels of well established brands in India. Also please note that all other phones except iphones have a microsd card slot.

        • balcobomber25
          January 30, 2015

          Xioami has gone head to head with Apple in China and has been winning. That is how they came to be one of the biggest manufacturers in China, by copying Apples success and stealing many of it’s customers. Hardcore Apple fanboys will continue to buy Apple products regardless of the price, but there are tens of million who have no allegiance when it comes to phones.

          They have done the same in India and will do in every country they invade as long as they continue to keep prices significantly lower than Apple.

      • Bailey
        January 30, 2015

        I totally agree with you

  3. January 28, 2015

    Yes it is not smartly priced , in this price bracket there is touch and go affair while the 801 is a powerful processor the android world is quickly changing to 64 bit,When you have so many devices in India which are powerful enough at this power point i would say it would be tough to sell it like Mi3 in india. 15 K Rupees would have a great selling point at 20 K

  4. MaxPower
    January 28, 2015

    1999 CNY is 19,650 INR. They rounded to the closest number. They can’t sell their flagship for less because they already sell it at just above cost price.They can’t sell it at less than what they sell it in China because you have to put import costs.
    So that price is still a bargain!
    It’s still below other competitor’s price if you add reseller’s commission plus you are buying from official market with all its benefit.
    I agree that people might request some other features that this phone doesn’t have, but then it’s not a price matter, just go with another phone, plain and simple.
    The question is that if MI4 is suitable for Indian market, Xiaomi believe so, I honestly think they are right, but again, there’s nothing wrong about pricing.
    Oneplus might get into India soon but I doubt they are selling the 16gb version for less than 299$, to be honest I dont think they are going to sell the 16gb version at all, they rather to sell the 64gb version like they have been doing so far, I guess they have more profit with this last one

    • Guaire
      January 28, 2015

      That selling it near cost story doesn’t sounds right to me. Now actual cost have to be less than $200 considering Iphone 6’s and Samsung S5’s costs.

      As well I know Mi3’s India price was a bit less than China price at launch date, also India’s VAT rate is lower than China’s.

      Mi4 was hardly an upgrade to Mi3 at it’s launch date and it was 6 months ago. Now it coudn’t be considered as a high-end device.

      If I’m wrong they could correct me but I get it from their comments -at least some- Indians feels a bit insulted too because Mi4 launched too late and they considered it as a stock clearing. Ironically they are the first ones to got Mi4 outside China. Other countries probably will have to wait a couple of months too.

      They can’t sell it that cheap for India only, otherwise their Chinese customers will be upset. They can’t discount it’s China price easily otherwise their brand new Mi Note’s price would be seems too much that way. Looks to me they are trapped themselves.

      BTW I get the impression Chinese people consider Mi Note as a kind of outdated and Mi Note Pro as overpriced from their comments on mydrivers. I could be wrong though.

      • MaxPower
        January 28, 2015

        Of course I want everything cheaper but you have to be realistic. You brought up Samsung that manufactures their SoC, camera etc. Xiaomi doesn’t. Buys Soc from Qualcomm, camera from Sony, display from Sharp etc… You are comparing apples with pears. Mi note is not out yet, so they can’t discount MI4, it’s still their flagship and so far only Oneplus can compete with their price but with that weird system of invites.
        VAT in India is cheaper and that’s why they can keep the same price of China, it’s balanced with import cost.

        • Guaire
          January 29, 2015

          Look, I’m not Indian and it’s India price isn’t really my concern. Mi3 launched India with 13,999 RS price tag, while it’s China price still is 1499 CNY.

          So selling it little bit cheaper is not impossible. But as I explained before waiting it at Mi3’s price wouldn’t be reallistic because of it’s China price still high, not because of it’s price near costs IMO.
          I believe Xiaomi’s components for example it’s display isn’t best available from Sharp at the time. Those components should be good enough for to do job but same time not so expensive.

          It isn’t a good time for to buying Mi4 with that price IMO. Getting a Mi3 now or waiting a couple of month for discount would be wiser choice for people on the tight budgets.

          • MaxPower
            January 29, 2015

            I agree with you when you say that MI3 is a better deal. But this doesn’t mean they have to drop the price of MI4 for the reasons I explained before plus I add, if you drop it to a price of MI4 then people will stop buying MI3 and they’ll get a MI4. In this way they have two phones that fits two different pockets. The price of MI4 will drop later on, it has been released not even a year long.

            • Guaire
              January 29, 2015

              Of course they doesn’t have to drop it’s price. They wants to make more money. As well Mi4 selling like hot cakes they will not drop it’s price for charity’s sake. If people doesn’t rush to buy Mi4 at that price anymore they will be forced to reduce it’s price.

              Yeah if they cut the price of Mi4 people might not willing to buy Mi3, so they could discontiue Mi3 or they could reduce it’s price further. I’m not interested in the company’s best interest.

              Mi3 saw it’s first price cut at 5 months after launch, the second came 2 months later. Mi4 already is 6 months old.

              If it had Snapdragon 805 would be another story.

      • balcobomber25
        January 30, 2015

        They sell all their phones for very close to cost. You can’t compare them to Samsung or Apple for one main reason, both Samsung and Apple make their own chips as well as other parts.

        • Guaire
          January 30, 2015

          Apple doesn’t manufacture their parts and it’s chips manufactured at TSMC, image sensors at Sony, displays at Sharp etc. and all of those assembled at Foxconn. They are just designed it.

          Also despite Xiaomi they are spending to R&D and marketing a lot and a chunk of their price goes to middle men. Samsung spends over than 13 billion for R&D at 2013.

          Also probably Xiaomi uses cheaper parts. Xiaomi’s profit margins cannot be huge like Apple or Samsung but they are not selling it near costs.

          Do you believe Mi3’s cost dropped $80 within two months? Do you believe millions of Mi3 sold for scraps from June?

          Look at IUNI U2, it’s really have to be selling near costs.

  5. nishant
    January 28, 2015

    iv) it also does not have NFC.

    • Airyl
      January 28, 2015

      You use NFC?

      • Xalis
        January 28, 2015

        Anyone actually use NFC?

        • trapchan
          January 29, 2015

          i want to use NFC, the C stands for Cool right??

          • gfff
            January 29, 2015

            NFC Not For Cool

            Lol

    • balcobomber25
      January 30, 2015

      NFC has been one of the biggest failures for smartphones.

  6. seven7dust
    January 28, 2015

    The problem is that they launched the mi3 for 13,999 INR as a promotion to create buzz and it really worked for them in 2014.

    but in the end it caused confusion about mi phones , now everyone expects the same price forever.
    Probably wasn’t the wisest move now when you think about it.

    can they replicate their success in 2015 though ?

  7. Angry Mobile Nerd
    January 28, 2015

    The Mi4 at 1999 rmb in China (which is basically 19,999INR) hasn’t been a hot seller in China, either. I don’t think it’s the price that’s the problem, it’s the phone overall just didn’t present itself as a large enough upgrade over the Mi3, which I see a lot more of outside. Xiaomi also spoiled India with a 13,999INR Mi3 when they could have and should have charged more for and it still would have sold out no problem — so they kind of did it to themselves. It seems they started the race to the bottom but certainly don’t want to finish it.

    • MaxPower
      January 28, 2015

      You nailed it, I couldn’t say it better

    • balcobomber25
      January 30, 2015

      It hasn’t been a hot seller in China?? It sold out in record numbers and time on its release day and since that time has been one of the top selling phones in China. Not sure where you get your information from but you might want to look at actual sales numbers.

      • Angry Mobile Nerd
        January 30, 2015

        Please share the actual sales numbers.

        You forgot to say you bought a mi4, too, didn’t you?

        • Airyl
          January 31, 2015

          You seem to intensely dislike Xiaomi.

  8. Angry Mobile Nerd
    January 28, 2015

    On another note, I noticed the 800×450 photo that goes with this news story (the close up of the mi4 screen) is a staggering 800kb png! GizChina: please use jpg next time and save everyone 700kb, ok? Using png in this case is totally unnecessary, it even has a alpha channel! ! ! Whyyyyyyy?

    • NightFelix
      January 29, 2015

      Don’t worry bro, everyone here having unlimited Internet data quota, that is we are complain the Xiaomi mi4 are having no LTE support.

      • Angry Mobile Nerd
        January 29, 2015

        Obviously you’re not a graphic designer or a web developer. I’m on wifi 95% of the time so cost-wise it doesn’t affect me, either. But the unnecessary huge file size not only slows the loading time but what you don’t know is it also adds towards Gizchina’s monthly data transfer with whichever web hosting company they are using. It’s a huge optimization error when you’re pushing a 800kb image which should really only be 100kb. A 800×450 image weighing 800kb is clearly an original Photoshop saved png as Photoshop always produces the most bloated file sizes (I’m guessing they use Photoshop to add the “gizchina.com” watermark you see in the corner). Running the png through a lossless optimizer can reduce the file size to around 550 kb or 450 kb without the alpha channel. However, converting the png to a jpg will bring the file size down to 100kb with no noticeable loss in quality.

        • NightFelix
          January 29, 2015

          Obviously I’m trolling here to those who complain about the that doesn’t come with LTE, where else their own carrier doesn’t offer unlimited data.

        • Airyl
          January 31, 2015

          You realise he’s joking, right?

  9. Honzys1983
    January 28, 2015

    Well.. I dont know much about prices in India so I can’t comment it. But what I find outraging is the way how is Xiaomi treating their customers with bringing their products to the market. India is already official market. So why the heck must people wait more the 6 months for the product release. And once it happens its white 16gb version without LTE support. Can this be even real? I would strongl recommend to indian people not buy Xiaomi products now. Its the only way how to give them a lesson to treat customers better..

  10. rajnish kumar
    January 29, 2015

    I have waited for MI4 so long that i dont want to buy it any more. Also what the hell is this it was 7 months ago in china it came to india now when they have already launched MI note there, why placing india 1 step back all the time. They now should launch same models together here also. Why presenting something as new when it already have been in other market for long.

  11. SmestarZ
    January 29, 2015

    When Xiaomi Mi3 was introduced in India for Rs 13999 it was an old product (Launched December 2013) and it came to India in August 2014. But however the specifications were top notch, and indeed it gave the top established brands a competition. Mobiles of Similar specs were easily costing double of what Xiaomi MI3 was costing, and hence when it was launched initially, many felt it its too good to be true. I had used MI3 before and hence knew the product well and there was no hesitation buying it first, I was surprised to see the first sale last 30 minutes +. Anyway, Xiaomi MI3 was priced competetively (also the price in Singapore which is much smaller market was similar to Indian prices hence it was not under priced)
    But after the success of Xiaomi MI3 the top processors were still quite far from becoming available and hence in order to push sales Xiaomi had to either keep producing and selling MI3 (which would have slowed their growth) or come up with newer model which looked incremental. Xiaomi took the second approach. They did come up with a well engineered product. Now due to Xiaomi MI3 prices, the expectations of the market in India is that since there is few increment in the specifications, the prices should be incremental too, but considering all the costs, Xiaomi had to price it as per the expected prices RMB 1999 in China and hence Rs 19999 in India. As you see that Xiaomi did not sell well in China either, the 64 GB model sells at RMB 2499 or so in China. Thus the pricing of Xiaomi is competitive but the market expectations are much different, Indian Market would accept Xiaomi MI4 at 16000 or so, else as per me Xiaomi might have to give a few more extras like earphones, Screenguard and back cover etc to justify the price. I do understand Xiaomi, but India is a price sensitive market. It might do well in other parts of the world but considering that phones like one plus one which have similar or better specs (64 GB instead of 16 GB) and priced at Rs 21999 for 64 GB when Xiaomi is priced at 1999 for 16 GB makes better value for money in terms of phone. But surely Xiaomi has put in better build quality.

  12. Prakash Rao
    January 29, 2015

    Launch of Mi 4 has been delayed ,meanwhile Indian buyer has more better choices.At a price of 20k for 16GB
    Version may not attract price sensitive Indians. 64 GB has become standard for price above 15k.

    • Yeah it me
      January 29, 2015

      Or alteast they should provide sd card slot if not 64gb. What the hell we gonna do with 12gb(available to user). With 4k recording it would be filled in a day or so.

  13. lemaitre
    January 29, 2015

    what happens in their heads xiaomi? sell a phone without 4G, only one color 16gb and at this price, it’s crasy ! xiaomi will have big dificulties to sell its smartphones! many people waiting for the Mi4 in black and 4G, but is xiaomi has still not released this version Seven month ago ! it’s disturbing

  14. Nitin Khatri
    January 29, 2015

    We Indians are buying one plus one in 22k with pleasure but want to get a MI4 in 15k. What the hell?? Mi4 is far better than opo in design material prospects. If you don’t havee money to buy a premium product then buy the products which fits in your budget. Can u make same complaints to Samsung,apple, Sony HTC.???

    • trapchan
      January 29, 2015

      22k for OPO ?? is that for 16 / 64 GB ?? 64GB OPO only cost $329 in Indonesia (after coupon discount).

  15. JeffAshe
    January 29, 2015

    The Indians are indeed legendarily cheap.

    Instead of focusing on growing their economy and personal income, they’d rather get freebees and handouts.

    Xiaomi doesn’t owe them a thing. Sell them in Africa, where income levels are higher and be done with it.

    • Nitin Khatri
      January 29, 2015

      Ahh?? This is India only where xiaomi sold 1.5 million smartphones in just 7 months. We love xiaomi, so we are complaining. Visit Mi India page once and hopefully you will change your perception.

  16. Vijay Sud
    January 30, 2015

    I think the rants seem to have reached Xiaomi ears..64 GB version will come in 2 weeks to India. .probably at same price…to beat the OnePlus One. .

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