We just launched our 2nd podcast, "First Principles", featuring authentic conversations with India's best-known entrepreneurs and leaders. .

On Wednesday, Chinese electronics major Xiaomi put “India’s fastest charging smartphone” up for sale. The Xiaomi 11i Hypercharge supposedly charges to 100% within 15 minutes and retails from Rs 26,999 (US$365). Next week, Xiaomi will launch the 11T Pro, which it calls “The Hyperphone”. It has a 10-bit AMOLED AMOLED AMOLED AMOLED (active-matrix organic light-emitting diodes) is a type of OLED display device technology. AMOLED display quality is much better than the OLEDs as it contains an additional layer of TFTs and follows backplane technologies. display, among other features, and is expected to be priced around Rs 50,000 (US$675).

These are just two of at least six premium phones Xiaomi plans to launch this year, The Ken has learnt. This points to a major change in the 12-year-old company’s strategy. It’s finally trying to join the big-boy league. 

Xiaomi has never quite been associated with premium smartphones. Ever since it entered India in 2014, it sought to woo the country’s value-conscious consumers by positioning itself as an “affordable brand with great specifications”. It worked like a charm—with an online-only retail approach, which further reduced costs, Xiaomi became became The Ken Xiaomi’s bittersweet path to ending Samsung’s 5-year India reign Read more  the largest smartphone brand in the country in just three years. 

And it has maintained that lead to date. In the quarter ended September 2021, Xiaomi had a 22% market share in India, according to market research company Counterpoint Research. Second-placed Samsung was not too far behind at 19%. In the process, Xiaomi has shipped 11.2 million units, making India its biggest smartphone market.

However, Xiaomi has been forced to ditch the budget focus amidst an increasing affinity towards more advanced smartphones and criticism around the previous versions of its Android-based operating system. The latest MIUI 12.5 followed in April 2021, which Xiaomi says is its cleanest OS till date, with no advertisements or bloatware bloatware Bloatware Bloatware is commercial software that is preinstalled on a device by the manufacturer, whether it's useful or not, and tends to waste memory and resources. While some of these apps may be useful, the majority of them simply sit there taking up storage space and, in some cases, affecting the performance of your phone. . But this came with a cost.

Xiaomi relies heavily on ad revenue from its internet services internet services The Ken Xiaomi wants India addicted to its internet services.

AUTHOR

Aayush Agarwal

Aayush covers businesses that are primarily Internet for The Ken. In his previous stint at Goldman Sachs, he spent slightly more than a year analysing investment opportunities in the China Internet space. A science graduate, he completed his postgraduate from the Indian Institute of Management, Kozhikode. Write to him if, among other things, you wish to talk about e-businesses, journalism or just offbeat career choices.

View Full Profile

Read this story. Subscribe Now

This story is available across both editions. Subscribe to the one that’s most relevant for you. Questions?

 

Premium

  • 5 original and reported longform business stories every week
  • Access to ONLY India edition
  • Close to 250 exclusive stories every year
  • Full access to over 5 years of paywalled stories
  • Pick up to 5 premium subscriber newsletters
  • 4 original and reported longform business stories each week
  • Access to ONLY Southeast Asia edition
  • Close to 200 exclusive stories every year
  • Full access to all paywalled stories since March 2020
  • Pick up to 5 premium subscriber newsletters

Rs. 2,750 /year

$ 120 /year

India Edition
Subscribe Subscribe
Most Asked For

Borderless

  • 8 original and reported longform business stories each week
  • Access to both India and Southeast Asia editions
  • Close to 400 exclusive stories every year
  • Full access to over 5 years of paywalled stories across India and Southeast Asia
  • Unlimited access to all premium subscriber newsletters
  • Visual Stories

Rs. 4,200 /year

Subscribe
 

Echelon

  • 8 original and reported longform business stories each week
  • Access to both India and Southeast Asia editions
  • Close to 400 exclusive stories every year
  • Full access to over 5 years of paywalled stories across India and Southeast Asia
  • Unlimited access to all premium subscriber newsletters
  • Visual Stories
  • Bonus annual gift subscription
  • Priority access to all new products and features

Rs. 8,474 /year

Subscribe
Or

Questions?

What kind of subscription plans do you offer?

We have three types of subscriptions
- Premium which gives you access to either the India or the Southeast Asia edition.
- Borderless which gives you complete access to The Ken across both editions
- Echelon which gives you complete access to The Ken across both editions along with a bonus gift subscription

What do I get if I subscribe?

The Premium edition gives you access to stories in that edition along with any five subscriber-only newsletters of your choice.

The Borderless and Echelon subscription gives you complete access to The Ken across editions and unlimited access to as many newsletters as you like.

What topics do you usually write about?

We publish sharp, original and reported stories on technology, business and healthcare. Our stories are forward-looking, analytical and directional — supported by data, visualisations and infographics. We use language and narrative that is accessible to even lay readers. And we optimise for quality over quantity, every single time.

Our specialised subscriber-only newsletters are written by our expert, award-winning journalists and cover a range of topics across finance, retail, clean energy, cryptocurrency, ed-tech and many more.

How many newsletters do you have?

We are constantly adding specialised subscriber-only newsletters all the time. All of these are written by our team of award-winning journalists on a specialised topic.

You can see the list of newsletters that we publish over here.

Does a Premium subscription to your Indian edition get me access to the Southeast Asia edition? Or vice-versa?

Afraid not. Each edition is separate with its own subscription plan. The India edition publishes stories focused on India. The Southeast Asia edition is focused on Southeast Asia. We may occasionally cross-publish stories from one edition to the other.

We recommend the Borderless or the Echelon Plan which will give you access to stories across both editions.

Do you have a mobile app?

Yes! We have a top-rated mobile app on both iOS and Android which allows you to read on-the-go and has some amazing features like the ability to bookmark stories, save on your device, dark mode, and much more. It’s really the best way to read The Ken.

Is there a free trial?

You can sign up for a free account to experience The Ken and understand our products better. We’ll send you some free stories and newsletters occasionally, and you can access our archive of previously published free stories. You can stay on the free account as long as you’d like.

The vast majority of our stories, articles and newsletters can be accessed only by a paid subscription.

Do you offer any discounts?

Sorry, no. Our journalism is funded completely by our subscribers. We believe that quality journalism comes at a price, and readers trust and pay us so that we can remain independent.

Do you offer refunds?

No. We allow you to sample our journalism for free before signing up, and after you do, we stand by its quality. But we do not offer refunds.

I am facing some trouble purchasing a subscription. What can I do?

Just write to us at [email protected] with details. We’ll help you out.

I have a few more questions. How can I reach out to you?

Sure. Just email us at [email protected] or follow us on Twitter.