A few days in the past, Lei Jun’s speech in honor of Xiaomi’s 10th anniversary has aroused trade consideration. Lei Jun will discuss the place Xiaomi comes from and the place it’ll go. This decade has been very windy and has many pitfalls.

Prior to now, Xiaomi has targeted on mannequin competitors and low-end market cargo information packaging for a very long time. Xiaomi lacks the underlying expertise and its shortcomings are laborious to repair.

Xiaomi used to proceed to bundle new tales to cater to the capital market. However as home and overseas gross sales proceed to say no, there’s nonetheless no turning level. So the hidden worries of Xiaomi within the 5G period have emerged.

In keeping with a Counterpoint report, within the second quarter of 2020, smartphone gross sales in China fell by 17% year-on-year, however elevated by 9% month-on-year. On the identical time, Huawei’s smartphone gross sales in China elevated by 17% year-on-year, with a market share of 47%. Xiaomi’s gross sales in China and India are on a downward pattern. Xiaomi’s smartphones fell by 35%, the biggest decline, with a home market share of 8.4%.

IDC information additionally exhibits that the overall shipments of Xiaomi smartphones within the second quarter had been 10.5 million models, a lower of 6.6 million models from 17.1 million models in the identical interval final yr, a year-on-year decline of 38.4%, and the biggest decline amongst main producers.

The story of product benchmarking channels (Or the basis reason behind the decline of Xiaomi smartphones)

Let’s look again on the historical past of Xiaomi. Xiaomi, which was established in 2010, achieved miraculous results throughout the smartphone dividend interval with its ‘price-performance ratio’ technique. Within the third quarter of 2014, it turned the third-largest smartphone producer on the earth and the primary domestically produced smartphone producer.

Later, from 2015 to 2016, because the low-end market progressively turned saturated, Xiaomi’s progress weakened. In keeping with IDC’s report, in 2016, Xiaomi’s smartphone shipments had been 41.5 million models, and the general cargo of Xiaomi’s smartphones fell 36%. And its market share dropped from 15.9% in 2015 to 8.9%. Xiaomi was the fifth within the rating of home shipments.

On this yr, the Xiaomi mannequin has really buried a hidden fear. As a result of by 2016, Xiaomi has been trapped by the price-performance ratio for 5 years. Prior to now 5 years, Xiaomi has been within the lowest price vary. It has by no means solved the issue of its smartphone model picture and trade model energy. So it has not been in a position to drive the high-end model upward.

At the moment, there have been two methods:

  • to study from Samsung by way of the management of expertise and provide chain and different hyperlinks to ascertain a technology-based company picture;
  • to study from Apple’s integration of software program and {hardware}.

In reality, Huawei’s route on the time was to study from Samsung and set up a technological model picture.

Xiaomi has tried to benchmark Apple. However because of the lack of management of the underlying system, it’s obscure the mixing of software program and {hardware} with the MIUI custom-made system because the core. As well as, there have all the time been shortcomings within the provide chain.

Xiaomi Is Like Amazon

Lei Jun mentioned in 2014 that Xiaomi is like Amazon. Xiaomi sells smartphones identical to Amazon sells Kindle. Xiaomi was the third largest e-commerce firm in China on the time. Each of them have deployed {hardware} primarily based on cost-effective methods.

Later, on the 2015 ‘Wuzhen On Dao·Digital China’ discussion board, Lei Jun didn’t draw back from the concept of ​​changing into a ‘Sony of China’. It allowed ‘high-quality merchandise with low costs and excessive popularity’ to be acknowledged by bigger lots. Later, Xiaomi proposed to study from Costco’s mannequin and MUJI, specializing in design, high quality, and complete retail shops. Low SKU brings low stock cycles, improved capital effectivity, and decreased working prices.

Xiaomi has no drawback with Apple and Sony. However later with Amazon, Costco, and MUJI, the essence is that the corporate because the product gene is benchmarking the retail channel.

This type of channelized ecological chain technique really ignores a key difficulty: as a technological product, smartphones are tough to keep away from by means of technological enhancements to shine merchandise and improve model energy. If smartphones turn into one of many channel methods ring, this has deviated from the conventional improve path and logic of expertise merchandise. This can be the basis reason behind the home decline of Xiaomi smartphones.

Heavy guess on shipments to the Indian market misplaced: Xiaomi missed the important thing alternative for expertise and model enchancment

Beneath the retail retailer channel technique system, Xiaomi has all the time targeted on fast channel shipments, gross sales quantity, and stock turnover effectivity previously. When home worries emerged, it continued to develop {hardware} merchandise, after which copied the home recreation to India. This was particularly seen on the Redmi telephones. However this type of gameplay delayed the decision of name issues and technical shortcomings.

In 2017, Xiaomi stopped falling and rebounded. Lei Jun mentioned on the time that Xiaomi was the primary smartphone producer that might rebound after gross sales decline. Nevertheless, the engine of Xiaomi’s progress in opposition to the pattern on the time got here from the Indian market. Within the checklist of ‘High Ten Greatest-selling Smartphones in 2017 in China’ compiled by Counterpoint that yr, it was mainly contracted by producers resembling OV, iPhone, and Honor. Xiaomi solely had one Redmi phone that took the ninth place.

Xiaomi story

Within the Chinese language market, smartphone producers ushered in a window of alternative for model upgrades from 2017 to 2018, as a result of the demographic dividend of the low-end smartphone market has disappeared. To keep up home progress, it’s essential to drive the model upward.

Xiaomi story

In 2018, merchandise from producers resembling Huawei started to enter the area of interest of 5,000 yuan ($717) fashions. These smartphone makers had been spending an excessive amount of on R&D. At the moment, Huawei’s HiSilicon chip was upgraded with nice momentum. And breakthroughs within the system stage resembling GPU Turbo expertise, tremendous file system, and Ark compiler introduced its model energy to enchancment.

Xiaomi lays behind its rivals

Along with the quick charging expertise, OPPO and VIVO have launched revolutionary applied sciences for lifting cameras. OPPO has the Discover X, VIVO has the NEX and different high-end flagships which have attracted consideration. Additionally they promoted the advance of name energy. However Xiaomi nonetheless makes use of Redmi to struggle the world.

The benefit of name upward is that it may well increase the typical price and still have model benefits within the low-end market. Take a look at the typical costs of main smartphone manufacturers in 2018: Apple – 5701 yuan ($818), Samsung – 3853 yuan ($553), Huawei – 2463 yuan ($353), OPPO – 1990 yuan ($285), VIVO – 1907 yuan ($274), Honor – 1443 yuan ($207), Xiaomi – 1374 yuan ($197), Gionee – 1307 yuan ($187), and Meizu – 1170 yuan ($168). In 2018, IDC information confirmed that the Xiaomi market’s annual shipments dropped by 34.9% year-on-year.

In 2019, Xiaomi, which focuses on reaping the dividends within the Indian market, is in a steady decline within the home market. This yr, aside from the Xiaomi Mi 9, there is no such thing as a flagship product that has sparked sizzling discussions within the trade. In 2019, smartphone shipments all year long in contrast with 2018, was down by 21%. Its market share decreased from 12.4% in 2018 to 10.5%.

By this yr, Xiaomi’s market share has fallen to single digits.

The present drawback for Xiaomi is that each home and overseas markets are dealing with a stall disaster. First, as a result of geopolitics, epidemics and different components, the present Indian market is dealing with uncertainty. A current information report from Canalys exhibits that Xiaomi’s 2020

Xiaomi story

Q2 shipments within the Indian smartphone market are 5.3 million models, a lower of 5 million models from 10.3 million models final yr, and Xiaomi’s gross sales plummeted 48%.

Xiaomi story

Xiaomi’s cost-effective gameplay within the Indian market has been copied by OV, particularly by VIVO. The latter rose quickly from 13.1% in 2019Q1 to 21% in 2020Q1 inside one yr.

Furthermore, the Indian market is stalling. The significance of the home market to Xiaomi has turn into increasingly more outstanding. This yr, Xiaomi has reverted its strategic focus to the nation. At first of this yr, it launched the Xiaomi Mi 10 in an try and hit the high-end area of interest and create a single product explosion. However issues went opposite to expectations.

When it comes to single product fashions, among the many high ten gross sales of 5G smartphones within the Chinese language market in June this yr, Huawei (together with Honor) accounted for eight seats, OPPO accounted for 2, and there was no Xiaomi smartphone within the high ten.

The essence behind that is that within the 5G period, it’s changing into increasingly more tough for Xiaomi to go the premium market. That is associated to the truth that 5G locations particular emphasis on hard-core patents and applied sciences, particularly within the present delicate and complicated worldwide commerce state of affairs.

5G has extra necessities

On the one hand, 5G terminals have new necessities by way of community structure, multi-mode, frequency band and bandwidth, OFDM parameters, body construction, modulation mode, MIMO, energy, and so forth. It’s essential to optimize the expertise by means of patent format, cut back prices, and have the ability to carry out at essential moments in an effort to acquire extra technological autonomy.

However, within the smartphone manufacturing course of, the chip is a key hyperlink. It determines the smartphone’s efficiency compatibility, modulation adaptation, processing operation and plenty of different facets. Xiaomi is lacking on this hyperlink. Judging from the historical past of the smartphone trade, if there is no such thing as a mature self-developed chip and system design capabilities or no management over the provision chain and core expertise, it’s mainly unimaginable to attain high-end manufacturers.


5G+AIOT is one other large story Lei Jun advised the capital market. The Xiaomi smartphone is the main product of AIoT.

The Xiaomi IoT entrance may be very broad. There are greater than 2,000 Xiaomi and ecological chain merchandise. The variety of related units reaches 252 million, protecting many of the good {hardware} fields. The present efficiency of Xiaomi IoT remains to be good. The proportion of IoT and shopper income rose from 25.1% in 2018 to 30.2% in 2019. IoT income reached 62.1 billion yuan ($8.91 billion) in the identical interval.

Nevertheless, different firms are specializing in this discipline as properly. For instance, Huawei has formulated a 1+8+N technique on IoT and launched its personal HiLink commonplace. Huawei additionally set a three-year aim in its IoT technique: 1/3 of China’s IoT units help the HiLink commonplace. In 2019, the cumulative cargo quantity of Huawei IoT related units has exceeded 220 million. Not solely Huawei, different producers resembling OPPO, VIVO, and Realme are additionally accelerating their deployment in IoT enterprise.

Can IoT save Xiaomi?

The efforts of those producers, particularly Huawei, which has the benefits of 5G, pose a sure risk to Xiaomi. Due to the IoT period, 5G is the underlying infrastructure. The format of IoT requires steady funding of sources to make sure environment friendly operation. The belief of IoT requires smartphones, a preferred and highly effective portal to combine numerous units and eventualities. The person stickiness and competitiveness of smartphones is sort of essential. If the smartphone terminal weakens, it could have an effect on the competitiveness and person stability of ecosystem chain producers and camps.

The story of 5G + AIoT is according to the overall pattern of the whole period, as a result of after a lot of {hardware} merchandise are related to the Web, the knowledge interplay of a whole bunch of thousands and thousands of individuals requires the platform to supply the underlying soil for a collection of purposes to attach every little thing by means of 5G transmission and capability. But when the format of 5G core expertise is hollowed out, this story will not be convincing.

Huawei ranks first on the earth with 3147 5G commonplace important patents

In China, VIVO has additionally utilized for greater than 2,000 5G invention patents. As well as, the mental property information launched by the State Mental Property Workplace earlier exhibits that within the first half of 2020, the variety of OPPO invention patents granted ranks the primary echelon. However within the 5G patent, there is no such thing as a shadow of Xiaomi on the checklist.

Xiaomi story

Xiaomi needs to inform a narrative concerning the Web, good {hardware}, and IoT platforms. However the weakening of smartphone competitiveness and the shortage of 5G expertise implies that the locomotive, the central management core of IoT, is slowing down. Whether or not the IoT ecological chain can keep progress remains to be a query.

Additionally Learn: Huawei’s 5G Patents Surpass That Of All Us Firms Put Collectively

For this reason the capital market didn’t purchase it when Xiaomi talked concerning the continued acceleration of AIoT enterprise. And Xiaomi’s inventory price was nonetheless hovering on the difficulty price for 2 years after its itemizing.

Which markets ought to Xiaomi give attention to?

At current, the significance of the home market is self-evident for Xiaomi. Nevertheless, behind the decline of Xiaomi’s home market is that the retail mannequin of Xiaomi’s merchandise within the benchmarking channel previously made it obsessive about the format of {hardware} malls, harvesting the dividends of the Indian low-end market, and missed the cross. The very best time window to put money into expertise analysis and growth to drive model premiums.

Xiaomi has all the time targeted on telling tales about retail shipments and low-end gross sales. After consuming up the home market dividends, they switched to India. That is the results of Xiaomi’s mannequin – the product benchmarking retail channels, as a result of the essence of retail is how you can be more practical. Promoting items is a enterprise mannequin somewhat than a product growth mannequin.

As a expertise product, the obstacles to competitors stem from long-term funding in analysis and growth, management of the upstream and downstream industrial chain and core applied sciences to ascertain product and model obstacles. However Xiaomi’s retail-driven method and this mannequin of heavy funding in analysis and growth are contradictory. That is additionally an necessary cause why Xiaomi’s surging chip mission was lastly deserted. This heavy funding method doesn’t meet the strategic positioning of Xiaomi’s retail mannequin.

However that is exactly the explanation why Xiaomi’s model premium can’t rise and the competitiveness of the home market has declined. The hole between its expertise and product innovation capabilities and Huawei and different producers has been additional widened.

Secondly, Xiaomi’s {hardware} trade chain entails an excessive amount of power. Xiaomi’s principal smartphone enterprise is merchandise and expertise funding is inadequate. So the product stage is at a drawback.

Xiaomi spends too little on R&D

As talked about earlier, as a expertise product, the smartphone’s innovation is generally pushed by expertise. And expertise requires a considerable amount of long-term funding to make sure secure innovation and iteration of the product.

In keeping with the information, Xiaomi’s analysis and growth bills from 2015 to 2018 had been 1.512 billion yuan ($0.22 billion), 2.104 billion yuan ($0.032 billion), 3.151 billion yuan ($0.45 billion), and 1.104 billion yuan ($0.16 billion). In keeping with Xiaomi’s 2019 monetary report, Xiaomi’s analysis and growth bills have elevated to 7 billion yuan ($1 billion), whereas the analysis and growth bills of VIVO and OPPO in the identical interval are near 10 billion ($1.43). Huawei’s analysis and growth funding in 2019 is as excessive as 131.7 billion yuan ($18.89 billion). Judging from the present market share and model energy, the funding in expertise analysis and growth has a optimistic correlation with the product model.

Lack of improvements

Xiaomi’s lack of funding in analysis and growth, to some extent, stems from the continual growth of the {hardware} ecological chain. However it has dispersed the corporate’s capital and technical funding in the primary enterprise of smartphones. When Xiaomi’s competitiveness within the smartphone discipline is declining, the funds that may be invested in analysis and growth are restricted. How can a {hardware} division retailer that isn’t worthwhile and faces a variety of funding pressures within the {hardware} trade chain give attention to sources and expertise within the high-end smartphone market? Additionally, the way it can compete among the many main smartphone producers?

Lastly, Xiaomi’s 5G fundamental communication expertise and the shortage of chips decide that it will likely be used for a very long time by means of the provision chain doctrine + stacking mannequin. Nevertheless, with the trade’s doubts concerning the lack of core expertise of its merchandise, Xiaomi’s future high-end positioning will all the time have a insecurity. The marketing-driven mannequin could not adapt to this period, and it’s laborious to say that it drives model worth. Judging from person suggestions on social media resembling Weibo, provocative advertising to friends can simply result in customers’ boredom and disgust. Xiaomi wants to alter its model of play.

The underside line

In 10 years, Xiaomi is not the unique Xiaomi. However the occasions have modified, and it’s tough for Xiaomi’s mannequin and advertising strategies to adapt to this period. Particularly within the vent of the commerce struggle, customers have positioned extra expectations on technology-based producers.

Trying again on the previous 10 years, Lei Jun will present folks the brilliance and emotions of Xiaomi. However at this juncture, Xiaomi ought to really replicate on Xiaomi’s shortcomings and disaster.


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