Xiaomi’s sub-brand Poco is the newest to shift its strategy from online-only to sell devices in the offline channel as well. The Chinese smartphone maker has announced that it will start selling its handset through Mi preferred partners and Mi Home stores across the country.
The devices will be available in the offline retail channel starting October 13, reports Economic Times. The idea of selling Poco phones in the offline market is said to be driven by strong demand for smartphones in the offline segment during the Diwali season. The move could be seen as a way for the company to drive sales for the new smartphone and reach new volumes for Poco brand in the country.
“We want to bring Poco smartphones to more users in India, whereby we are now coming to the offline channel. We were getting a lot of demand from the consumers,” C Manmohan, General Manager of Poco India told ET. He added that the device is priced higher than other Xiaomi devices and consumers want to experience it before buying the smartphone.
Poco brand from Xiaomi made its debut in mid-August and launched its first smartphone, the Poco F1, at a starting price of Rs 20,999. It is one of the cheapest smartphone in the Indian market to feature Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 845 chipset. Manmohan told the newspaper that the device will be available at an aggressive pricing close to what it offers in the online retail channel.
Xiaomi, which according to IDC, is the leader in India’s smartphone segment, has little or no presence in the premium segment. It mostly sells smartphones in the sub-Rs 20,000 price segment, leaving room for rivals including OnePlus, Huawei and Samsung to take a big piece out of the premium smartphone segment. With Poco, Xiaomi aims to win customers way from these premium brands. The introduction of Poco has forced the likes of Samsung to concentrate on bringing flagship features to the mid-range segment.
Watch: Xiaomi Poco F1 Armoured Edition First Look
By offering the Poco sub-brand in the offline market, Xiaomi is essentially trying to drive consumers looking at Redmi Note 5 Pro towards the Poco F1, which offers faster processor but does not cost a whole lot more. It needs to be seen whether Xiaomi’s strategy will work when its primary rival OnePlus is also expanding its footprint in the offline channel.