Xiaomi is, at heart, a smartphone maker. As a company, it’s less than a decade old, and was quite literally born at the beginning of the smartphone revolution. In less than eight years, it’s gone from being a company that developed an Android-based software fork for smartphones to one of the largest and most important smartphone makers in the world. Needless to say, this is no small feat.
It’s taken serious ambition and even more serious hard work for Xiaomi to get to where it is today. And going by the company’s continued aggression towards building its business, that ambition is going nowhere. Xiaomi, with its latest launch, has effectively announced its intentions: the Indian TV market is next.
It’s a familiar storyline for anyone that has been following the rise and rise of Xiaomi both globally and specifically in India. While Xiaomi has always enjoyed success and wallops of attention since the beginning of its innings in India, the Redmi Note 3 in 2016 was the first sign of things to come. Having eventually sorted out its ability to import and later manufacture products in India, to building up an impressive service network, to finally cracking into the offline space as well, Xiaomi has steadily built up its presence.
2017 changed things for Xiaomi. It was now a company with its act in order. At the start of the year came the Xiaomi Redmi Note 4.
This was a phone that pushed boundaries. It offered more than what every other smartphone maker with a presence in India could only imagine doing. Every other brand figured out what was happening far too late. By then, the effects were already taking shape. By the end of the year, it was official; Xiaomi had beaten Samsung to become the top-selling smartphone brand in India in 2017. It’s an incredible set of events that showed what a whole lot of ambition and intelligence are capable of.
Today, many of the old guard of the mobile phone revolution in India have had their market shares reduced to a pittance. With the exception of Samsung that continues to hold a strong market share, brands such as Sony, LG, HTC and Micromax barely make a mark on the smartphone segment as a whole. Xiaomi understood the need for offering the Indian consumer value, and it’s that understanding that has got it to where it is today.
With the Mi TV 4, Xiaomi is showing the same thirst for success. It has the potential to take over the TV market in India the same way it took over the smartphone space. After all, it’s done exactly what the Redmi Note 4 did when it comes to pricing. It’s a feature-filled TV that matches up with top-notch products on features and specifications but is available at a fraction of the price.
Typical 55-inch 4K HDR smart TVs cost a lot of money; we recently reviewed one from Samsung that costs Rs 2,74,900. A quick Google search also shows that even the most affordable option with a matching feature set from a top brand costs about Rs 90,000. The Xiaomi Mi TV 4 is available for Rs 39,999. With this kind of pricing, there’s really no other option that comes close. The value on offer here is tremendous, and you simply will not get a better TV than this at this price, or a price that is twice or even thrice as much. Before you ask how good it is, we can tell you for a fact that at first glance, the Xiaomi Mi TV 4 is very good.
It’s still too early to say, and it’s very likely that the TV will often be out of stock in the first few months. It is, after all, a new product segment for Xiaomi in India, and the established brands don’t have anything to fear in 2018 at least. But unless the establishment gets its act together and tackles the problem head-on, we’re potentially looking at another Xiaomi Redmi Note 4 situation here.