The Xiaomi Redmi 5A has been launched recently and people are losing their minds over it. The device offers a 5 inch HD Screen,13 Mega-Pixel camera and a 3000 mAh battery. Also, the device runs on the quad-core Snapdragon 425 and you get all of this at the minimal price of 4,999. This phone will be a great option for people looking for a decent phone in the sub 5000 range as currently most of the smartphones in that zone are from brands like Intex. Lava and Micromax which use the cheaper MediaTek chipsets.
But this isn’t the first time Xiaomi has launched a product at a ground-breaking price. Xiaomi has been doing that since 2014. I remember my first smartphone was the Xolo Q700s(Mediatek Quad core,1/4 GB) priced at 7,800 which stayed at the top of its game from early to mid-2014. May 2014 Saw the launch of Motorola’s new line up of devices. This included the premium Moto X(INR 24,000), The Mid-Range Moto G(INR 12,000) and the lower end Moto E(INR 7,000).
So Moto E was killing the scene then, Almost every college student had the Moto E due to its low price and specifications that included a 1 GB Ram and 4 GB storage. A 5 Mega-Pixel camera which was way better than other 13 Mega-Pixel shooters. The biggest USP for Moto E was that it had a Gorilla Glass protection on its screen. Moto E enjoyed some success but only for a few months.
The third quarter of 2014 Saw the entry of Xiaomi in the Indian market. Xiaomi announced it’s Redmi 1s with 1 GB Ram and 8GB storage. 8/1.6 MP camera and 2000 mAh battery. The phone had a 4.7 inch HD screen with Dragontail glass protection. Powered by a quad-core Snapdragon 400 chipset the phone ran on MIUI which already had a big following. The phone was already giving a tough competition to Moto E in terms of price to specifications ratio. The best thing came just one day before the first sale. Xiaomi had planned to sell the Redmi 1s at 6,999 but they reduced it to 5,999 just a day before the sale. This created a big news and the phone sold more than 40,000 units in the first sale.
All other companies went into shock and Xiaomi kept selling 40,000(Sometimes 20,000 units) in each sale right from September-2014 till its discontinuation in February-2015. I remember ordering at least 15 Redmi 1s Devices for my friends and family.
The Redmi 2 went on sale in April and was very well received. This was followed by the August launch of Redmi 2 Prime for INR 7,000 with similar specs and double the storage and memory for the same price. While all of this was happening Micromax was working on its Unite series of phones which was actually pretty close to the pricing but they were still with the MediaTek chipsets. Other brands including Xolo, Lava, and Intex were also using MediaTek chips and most importantly they had exceptionally bad camera quality.
While all of this was happening in the lower end zone, the Mid and Premium Range was only for Big Brands like HTC, Samsung, Sony, and LG. Xiaomi launched the MI series in India parallelly to beat the mid-range market. But even though sales were good, the Mi series did not impress the users. Finally, the launch of Redmi Note 3 in Feb – 2016 gave Xiaomi an upper edge in the Mid-Range market. It was hugely successful and most important thing was that the specs that Xiaomi was offering for INR 12,000 were only available in the branded phones that costed at least INR 18-20,000. The Redmi Note 3 sold approximately 1.7 Million Units and its success was later carried forward by the Redmi 3 and Redmi 3 Prime.
The Redmi 3/Prime were launched in November 2016 and they were among the first lower end phones to sport an IR blaster. They Redmi 3s had decent sales that went on till the first quarter of 2017. It is important to note that roughly around this time, more than 30% of phones sold online were of Xiaomi.
Redmi Note 4 came in the first quarter of 2017 and soon became the most selling phone in India ever. It had curved edges that gave the screen a 2.5d look and the pricing was aggressive.
No one, I repeat No one is anywhere close to what Xiaomi offers.
Some sources say that Xiaomi has 26% of the market share in smartphones. To grow this number, even more, Xiaomi is trying to capture the camera-loving market with its new Y series of phones. Xiaomi has always given the masses what they want. Their phones are aggressive prices and updated with the latest hardware.