Xiaomi has built a solid reputation as a manufacturer of budget-friendly smartphones, but that might change in the near future. Xiaomi founder and CEO Lei Jun has said that the company’s mobile devices could become more expensive.
“Actually, we want to get rid of this reputation that our phones cost less than 2,000 yuan (around ₱15,500). We want to invest more and make better products,” Lei Jun said in a translated video by Technode.
“I said internally that this might be the last time our price will be under 3,000 yuan (around ₱23,000),” Lei added, presumably referring to the flagship Xiaomi Mi 9. “In the future our phones might get more expensive. Not a lot, but a little more expensive.”
The Xiaomi Mi 9 was launched last February 20 and comes with new features such as the more powerful Qualcomm Snapdradon 855 chip, three separate main cameras, and wireless charging. It costs 2,999 yuan (approximately ₱23,000) while the stripped down SE variant starts at 1,999 yuan (approximately ₱15,500). Its predecessor, the Mi 8, costs 2,699 yuan (around ₱21,000).
If this report is true, then we might have to say goodbye to cheap Xiaomi smartphones. Entry-level smartphones such as the Xiaomi Redmi 6A are renowned for their affordability, which makes them popular with low-income consumers. Even their flagship devices are great value for money.
Xiaomi, however, might still offer cheap smartphones through its Redmi sub-brand, although it’s not clear if the Redmi series will also be affected by this planned price hike.