Believe the Hype or Kill the Hype?
Just a day after launching the flagship killer, as many claims, Xiaomi, has to clear its stand on pricings of Redmi K20 Pro and K20. Twitterati slammed the Chinese mobile manufacturer, for over-stepping the price barrier in which they want to see Redmi smartphones to be and, trolled the company and the smartphones for being #overpriced. There could be many thoughts and rationale behind this move by Xiaomi but, what I felt was that it now wants to knock at the doors of OnePlus in the price segment of Rs 30,000 to Rs 40,000. With these two new smartphones Xiaomi has entered into 20K and plus category for the first time. It did launch Mi Mix 2 into 30K+ segment but, it did not do well at that time.
Announcing the two models, Redmi K20 and K20 Pro, Manu Jain, Managing Director, Xiaomi India, and Vice President, Xiaomi, said, “Redmi K20 and K20 Pro truly redefine the ultimate flagship experience. While the premium 20K+ segment was relatively small traditionally, we are beginning to see massive growth in this segment. We hope Redmi K20 Pro and Redmi K20 will completely disrupt this segment with the kind of experience on offer.”
To begin with, Xiaomi launched Redmi K20 Pro in two RAM/ROM variants of 6GB/128GB and 8GB/256GB priced at Rs 27,999 and Rs 30,999 respectively,whereas, Redmi K20 will be available at Rs 21,999 for 6GB/64GB and Rs 23,999 for 6GB/128GB variant.
Specifically, Redmi K20 Pro features a 6.39 inch AMOLED Horizon display with 19.5:9 aspect ratio, 91.9% screen-to-body ratio and 2.5D Corning Gorilla Glass 5 protection. It also sports a 20MP pop-up selfie camera with edge lighting system that automatically attracts attention when pops out with a 4,000mAh battery supported by fast charger of 27W. Redmi K20 Pro does come with in-display fingerprint scanner.
In optics, Redmi K20 Pro boasts triple rear lens set-up. A 48MP Sony IMX586 with Laser Autofocus, 13MP wide-angle lens with 124.8° FOV and an 8MP telephoto lens with 2x zoom. Similarly, Redmi K20 Pro uses Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 octa-core chipset.The K20 also has similar features with just few minute changes.
Technically, there’s nothing wrong or so-called dated feature in the Redmi K20 Pro. It has all the essentials to compete with the market leaders in premium segment beyond 30K. The problem lies in the perception and attitude of the buyers or the fans as the companies love to address them as, because, when compared to OnePlus 7 Pro (6GB/128GB) it matches in almost all the departments with few tweaks in nomenclature here and there but, when you look at the pricing there’s huge gap of almost Rs 21,000 which is a huge amount, as huge as you can buy another Redmi K20 in 6GB/64GB format.
“The Redmi K20 Pro offers all the flagship essentials in terms of specifications, including the latest Snapdragon 855 SoC, paired with Adreno 640 GPU and up to 8GB of RAM. And yet, it does not have the ‘premium’ pricing that other similar phones offer, including the latest OnePlus 7 Pro, that starts at Rs 48,999,” says Prabhu Ram, Head- Industry Intelligence Group, CMR.
Meanwhile, Faisal Kawoosa, Founder and Chief Analyst of techARC said, “The major roadblock for K20 Pro is the acceptability of the brand in that price horizon. Xiaomi’s USP has been nothing other than affordability. That has resulted in positioning of the brand as an affordable segment brand. On the face product looks promising, brand positioning is a major challenge.”
Traditionally, Xiaomi has been relentlessly catering to the budget and entry segment buyers in India from where the majority sales come because that is the largest chunk of our population. The mantra of success for Xiaomi in India has primarily been this segment of population who moved from feature phones to smartphones which are affordable, up-to-date and convenient to use. The offline store penetration in the form of Mi Home has also been quite instrumental in achieving what Xiaomi is today.
|“Redmi K20 and K20 Pro truly redefine the ultimate flagship experience. While the premium 20K+ segment was relatively small traditionally, we are beginning to see massive growth in this segment. We hope Redmi K20 Pro and Redmi K20 will completely disrupt this segment with the kind of experience on offer”
– Manu Jain, Managing Director, Xiaomi India, and Vice President, Xiaomi
With the advent of Realme people have started comparing both in terms of pricing and specifications. Without a doubt Realme has also been quite successful and a hit among the budget buyers where price versus specifications matter a lot. Realme is following the same path as once Xiaomi travelled and reached the zenith. With its latest launch of Realme X, the brand seems to push itself aggressively, neck-to-neck with Xiaomi’s Redmi smartphones. Since Xiaomi has diversified itself into other verticals such as IoT and Smart TV, Realme still has miles to go before it can achieve something as big and momentous as Xiaomi has done, to become the king of smartphones in India. Meanwhile, Realme X sells at Rs 16,999 for the base model of 4GB/128GB and Rs 19,999 for 8GB/128GB variant.
|“The major roadblock for K20 Pro is the acceptability of the brand in that price horizon. Xiaomi’s USP has been nothing other than affordability. That has resulted in positioning of the brand as an affordable segment brand. On the face product looks promising, brand positioning is a major challenge”
– Faisal Kawoosa, Founder and Chief Analyst of techARC
“Redmi is a value-for-money brand that aims to become an aspirational ‘premium’ one with the aggressively priced Redmi K20 Pro. Whether it will succeed in convincing its existing user base to upgrade to the higher price tiers, will clearly depend on how it addresses its ‘brand perception’ amongst users, and the way it approaches its marketing and, more importantly, its messaging strategy,” feels Prabhu.
Xiaomi has always been a disruptor in the market, be it in smart TV or mobile ecosystem. Over the last five years of its operations in India it has dethroned electronics giants like Samsung from the online space and overall too in terms of market share of more than 28 per cent. Calling the new launches over-priced depends on how you look at the brand and wants to associate or not. It may sound over-board for many but, at the end of the day what matters is your choice and opinion. Primarily, Xiaomi target is to disrupt the 20K+ segment before it can really approach into the territory controlled by OnePlus.