October 3, 2023

Xiaomi The Chinese electronics giant on Sunday launched its flagship smartphone globally in an attempt to take a slice of the high-end market and challenge Apple And SAMSUNG,

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The Xiaomi 13 and 13 Pro were originally launched in China in December, but now the Beijing, China-headquartered company is bringing the devices to overseas markets.

Xiaomi 13 Pro device to feature 6.73-inch display and US firm’s latest Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 chipset Qualcomm, It has other premium features like triple-lens camera and ultra-fast charging. The company talked about the capabilities of its camera that it “co-engineered” with German firm Leica.

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The Xiaomi 13 starts at 999 Euros ($1,053) while the 13 Pro starts at 1,299 Euros.

Xiaomi had a tough year in 2022 with a 26% year-on-year decline, the biggest decline among the top five largest handset vendors, according to research firm IDC. The company turned loss in the September quarter, the latest financial results available.

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Xiaomi has faced many headwinds, especially a more difficult macroeconomic environment with a slowing economy in China. According to IDC, a total of 1.21 billion smartphones will be shipped in 2022, which represents the lowest annual shipments since 2013.

“Xiaomi is facing a number of headwinds inside China from the ever-popular Apple iPhone, the surprisingly strong Honor and fickle Chinese consumers,” Neil Mawston, an analyst at TechInsights, told CNBC via email.

Honor is a Chinese smartphone brand that was spun off from Huawei.

Xiaomi has become one of the biggest smartphone makers over the years through a strategy of bringing high-spec devices at very competitive price points. It started entering overseas markets around seven years ago by adopting a similar strategy. But now it is looking to push into the higher end of the market, where margins are higher and the market is still growing.

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High-end smartphones, which cost more than $800, will account for 18% of the total handset market in 2022, up from 11% in 2020, Canalys data shows. Xiaomi’s push into the premium tier will pit it against Apple and Samsung, posing a challenge to the Chinese rival. According to Canalys, Samsung and Apple devices will account for 92% of the high-end market in 2022.

“Competing with Apple and Samsung is incredibly difficult. Not only matching market-leading products, but especially with a product ecosystem with exceptional brand awareness, high-end perceptions, experience-focused solutions, and high user-stickiness going against the larger companies,” Raner Bjorhovde, research analyst at Canalys, told CNBC via email.

Xiaomi is the latest Chinese smartphone player trying to crack the high end of the market. Oppo this month launched its first foldable phone for the overseas market, priced above $1,000.