Xiaomi Mi 8 Proimage rights

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Xiaomi Mi 8 Pro is characterized by a transparent glass back

Xiaomi – the world's top-selling mobile phone manufacturer – has added Britain to its growing list of markets.

The Chinese company initially has three smartphones, a fitness bracelet and an electric scooter.

It also opens a shop in London's Westfield Shepherd's Bush, which also houses an Apple Store.

The launch extends its presence in Western Europe, where it is also active in Spain, France and Italy.

Xiaomi is known for praising its products competitively and maximizing earnings by bringing volume forward to profit growth.

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The electric scooter from Xiaomi will be on sale in the UK, although it can not legally be used on roads or in other public spaces

Earlier this year, the company announced its intention to limit the net profit margin of its hardware products to 5%, suggesting that the move would convince customers that it is a brand that can be trusted.

According to market research firm IDC, only Huawei's smartphone sales surpass the growth of major manufacturers.

Companies Smartphone broadcasts from July to September Change of shipments from year to year Current market share
Samsung 72.2 million -13.4% 20.3%
Huawei 52.0 million 32.9% 14.6%
Apple 49.9 million 0.5% 13.2%
Xiaomi 34.3 million 21.2% 9.7%
Oppo 29.9 million -2.1% 8.4%
Other 119.9 million -19.9% 33.8%
total 355.2 million -6.0% 100.0%

Source: IDC – based on preliminary data

Xiaomi's first flagship for the UK will be the Mi 8 Pro – an Android handset with a fingerprint sensor hiding behind its 6.2-inch (15.7 cm) display, and a transparent glass back, through which some of its front and back panels are located Components are visible.

It starts at £ 499. This is significantly less than the cost of premium models that are sold in the country by Apple, Samsung, HTC, Sony and Huawei, but match the price of the new OnePlus 6T.

Co-founder Xiang Wang told the BBC that Xiaomi intends to expand its product range in the UK in 2019 and possibly also launch its sub-brand Poco.

And although he said his company had no plans to keep one of his famous "flash sales" in the country – which offered limited quantities of a new device for sale at any one time – he said they offered it could be a later date to increase awareness.

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Xiaomi operates more than 100 stores in China and intends to have 1,000 by 2020

"When Xiaomi enters a country, they almost always grow very fast," commented Neil Mawston of consulting firm Strategy Analytics.

"This is the case in India, Indonesia and Russia, and now we see that it is growing very fast in Spain.

"The most threatening losses in the UK include Samsung, Huawei, TCL Alcatel, LG and ZTE – Apple is probably safe because it plays in much higher price ranges."

Another expert added that it would be a mistake to focus solely on the company's smartphone ambitions.

"The amount of products made by Xiaomi is stunning," said Ben Wood of CCS Insight Consulting.

"When you go to a store in Hong Kong, it's incredible – from robotic vacuum cleaners and smart lights to air purifiers and electric toothbrushes.

"The big question for me, though, is whether this is a market that is too far, given the unprecedented level of competition, especially on smartphones."

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CCS Insight

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The launch of Xiaomi in the UK marks entry into a fourth Western European market

However, a third analyst said that the Chinese company may have found the perfect time to fight.

"After Britain's exit from the European Union, we may again see consumers with discretionary spending, which will lead to a declining average selling price," said James Smith of Futuresource Consulting.

"Should the consumer wallet come under pressure … there may be an increasing demand for mid-range handsets, a market where Xiaomi has a very strong offer."


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