Xiaomi Mi4’s price has seen a cut of Rs 2,000 in India, after the phone failed to set the sales charts of fire.
The Mi4 had been priced at Rs 19,999 and Rs 23,999 for the 16 GB and 64 GB versions respectively.
“Mi India offered a special price for Mi 4 during Mi Fan Festival, and it was very well received. We have thus decided to make this price drop permanent. The Mi 4 16GB will now go for Rs. 17,999, and 64GB model for Rs. 21,999 (down from Rs. 19,999 and Rs. 23,999 respectively),” Xiaomi said in a statement.
“The Mi 4 is available on Flipkart (www.flipkart.com/mi) and The Mobile Store for now, and will be available on Snapdeal and Amazon India soon.”
The OnePlus One has been the biggest selling phone in the Rs 20,000 range for some time, as it has LTE unlike the Mi4.
Xiaomi is also set to announce the Mi4i, a cheaper version of the phone, later in April.
In January, fans waiting eagerly for the launch of Xiaomi Mi4 were left totally disappointed after the Chinese brand launched a phone with no 4G and at a price that is about 25% higher than what most people expected.
The Xiaomi Mi4 launched in India was the same 3G-only version available in the Chinese market for the last six months, while many had expected a 4G-enabled phone. (The Mi4i, which has 4G, will be launched later this month.)
While the Mi4 price had been expected to be around Rs 16,000, the actual price announced by Xiaomi for Mi4 has turned out to be a steep 19,999.
Not surprisingly, fans were totally disappointed with the launch.
“Going by the specs on http://mi.com, the Mi4 doesn’t come with LTE, 16GB and white only. Total bummer,” summed up @rajupp on Twitter.
The pricing and specifications of the Mi4 too had come out as particularly disappointing considering that the Huawei Honor 6, which is almost identical to the Mi4 in all respects and also comes with 4G, recently cut its price to Rs 17,999 from Rs 19,999.
In addition, the ZTE Grand S2, which has almost the same specifications, is available in India at just Rs 13,999.
Fans also had the option of buying the OnePlus One, which has arguably better specifications, including LTE, and is priced at around Rs 22,000. (Later cut to 19,000).
“Xiaomi’s price a bit more than expectation. No LTE, no 64GB storage, no Black variant, and still 20k. OPO (One Plus One) will rule,” said Bhavul Gauri, also on Twitter, at the time of launch.
“So I made a good decision of going for the OnePlus One. I don’t think Mi4 is worth at 20k consider price and Specs,” said Arman Chandok.
The high price also meant that the HTC Desire 826, which has very similar specifications to the OnePlus One, found itself in the reckoning when it was launched earlier this month.
Particularly disappointing has been the absense of LTE, though final confirmation on this aspect is still trickling in.
Comparison of Xiaomi Mi4 vs OnePluse One vs others:
|Xiaomi Mi4||HTC 826||OnePlus One||Huawei Hr 6||ZTE Grand S2|
|Chipset||SD 801||SD 615||SD 801||Kirin 920||SD 801|
|Processor||2.5 GHz x 4||1.7×4+1.0×4||2.5 GHz x 4||1.7×4+1.3×4||2.3 GHz x 4|
|Display||FHD 5”||FHD 5.5”||FHD 5.5”||FHD 5”||FHD 5.5”|
|Camera||13 + 8||13 + 4||13 + 5||13 + 5||13 + 2|
|Storage||16 GB||16 GB||64 GB||16 GB||16 GB|
|RAM||3 GB||2 GB||3 GB||3 GB||2 GB|
Fans were already angry at the delay in launching the phone in India, and the high price and the seeming lack of 4G only added fuel to their outrage.
It was not clear why the Chinese company had decided to price it at Rs 19,999 despite knowing that fans would be disappointed.
According to industry sources, the company was probably wary of the negative publicity it got with the launch of Mi3 when demand far outstripped supply.
“We believe they will cut price after they make sure that they can meet the demand. We don’t expect a ‘sold out’ board like it happened with Mi3,” a competitor had predicted.
At 20,000, the phone was not being sold below cost, as was reportedly the case with Mi3. However, with fellow Chinese competitor Huawei offering a better speced phone at Rs 17,999, it was tough for Xiaomi to generate the kind of sensation that they did last time.