5G and folding smartphones are the two trends of the moment or rather the two technologies on which multiple brands have decided to focus on. Xiaomi is one of those brands and these innovations are certainly a big part of the company's strategy: the 5G smartphone is already a reality and the foldable is coming soon!
Xiaomi's 5G strategy focuses on Europe
The Xiaomi Mi MIX 3 5G is the first 5G smartphone from the Chinese manufacturer that was, not by chance, announced in Europe during the Mobile World Congress. Xiaomi is focusing heavily on the European market where 5G is a trend that cannot be underestimated: "We want to make sure we are the forefront of every technology trend and 5G is one of the main trends right now, so we really wanted to make sure that we could bring a really awesome 5G phone here to Western Europe", Donovang Sung, Director of Product Management at Xiaomi, explained during our interview with him.
In 2017 Xiaomi arrived in Spain, in 2018 it reached France, Italy and the United Kingdom. These are the European markets on which the manufacturer is currently focusing by strengthening its physical presence in the form of Mi stores and by releasing smartphones and other connected devices. The importance of the European market in the Xiaomi strategy is clear:
More Mi stores, more smartphones and more competitively priced IoT products in Europe
5G is a technology that is not easy to explain, but for users, it will result in higher speed, less latency and an increasingly connected world. Although the supporting infrastructure is still in its infancy, by presenting the Mi MIX 3 5G, Xiaomi shows a willingness to bring innovative products at affordable prices to the hands of users.
The Mi MIX 3 5G is just the beginning because Xiaomi is not a company that focuses exclusively on smartphones. Its portfolio of IoT devices is vast and the focus for the coming years can be summarized in smartphones and AIoT. Wearables, electric scooters, robot vacuum cleaners, smart bulbs for the home: the list is long, especially in China where the brand does not have to deal with as many certifications processes, which differ from country to country.
Xiaomi will expand the catalog and its presence in Europe without worrying too much about its competitors, but rather focusing on the release of new products adapted to the needs of its users.
The foldable? It's coming soon
Since being the first in terms of offering new tech is one of the objectives that Xiaomi has set for itself, what about the foldable smartphone that Donovang himself recently shared in a Twitter post?
Check out this special video from #Xiaomi President and Co-founder Bin Lin, showing off a very special phone prototype... 😎— Donovan Sung (@donovansung) 23 January 2019
What does everyone think we should name this phone? 🤔#InnovationForEveryone pic.twitter.com/1lFj3nM7tD
"We definitely think that was a very interesting proof of concept for our foldable phone. In terms of a specific launch date, it's still in the concept phase. We are not quite ready to bring it to the prime time, but as soon as we have more information we'll let you know.", said Sung. So, Xiaomi will take its time to work on this innovative product that it wants to reach a certain maturity before ending up in the hands of users. As specified by Donovan Sung, a launch date has not yet been set but we expect to see it at some point this year.
Still too early for these products?
Yet, talking about 5G smartphones might seem premature when we look at the infrastructure in many countries. And maybe in a way it is. Who of you actually need a 5G smartphone right now? That's not the point, though. Manufacturers are committed to innovating their products, to think, predict and build devices that can meet future technological developments, while always striving to improve the user experience. And Xiaomi wants to be in the game.
The potential of 5G is really great, and I think that only discussing faster download speeds is really reductive. 5G will change our daily lives. It is difficult to say when, but it will change the way we look at and use smartphones, and in that context, foldables can perhaps play an important role. A single device which basically consists of a connected screen, which can be folded or unfolded at any time. Or maybe folding smartphones will have no place in the future: everything will depend on manufacturers, including Xiaomi, who will decide to invest, to work on it, to try to find the solution that best suits us users.