Japanese Smartphone Market: Xiaomi To Enter Japan

The company has entered more than 90 markets across the globe.

Xiaomi, the world’s fourth-largest smartphone manufacturer, intends to enter the Japanese market in 2020.

Steven Wang, the general manager of Xiaomi in East Asia, announced that Xiaomi would enter the Japanese Smartphone Market during a news conference in Tokyo.

Xiaomi must market their phones aggressively since iPhones are particularly popular in Japan. Though the company is late to the party, the timing of the move may end up working out well for the Beijing-based firm. The Japanese mobile market has been undergoing some changes as of late. The regulations implemented in October could turn out to be disadvantageous for expensive premium smartphones. Xiaomi is known for producing cost-effective electronics. The company has entered more than 90 markets across the globe and has started taking orders online for the Mi Note 10 smartphone series.

The Note 10 series is Xiaomi’s latest range of high-end smartphones.

The phone is equipped with five cameras and a 108-megapixel image sensor. Shipments are due to begin later this month. The company also revealed the prices of the two phones. Wang did not provide sales channel details, other than the information about online sales, which leaves us wondering whether the company plans to sell them via Japanese carriers. The company has established itself as one of the leading smartphone brands globally. Xiaomi opened its doors to customers in 2010. According to market research firm IDC, Xiaomi boasts a global market share of 9.1% as of the third quarter of 2019.

The Note 10 series Xiaomi - Japanese Smartphone Market
The Note 10 series Xiaomi

Samsung Electronics Co. held a 21.8 percent market share, Huawei Technologies Co. held 18.6 per cent market share, and Apple Inc. held a 13 percent market share. The Japanese market, on the other hand, has a different power balance – Apple’s iPhones are immensely popular in the country. In the first half of 2019, Apple’s smartphone share in Japan overwhelmed rivalling companies with a whopping 44.6 per cent local market share. Sharp Corp. held a 12.3 per cent market share, and Samsung held a 10.2 per cent market share.

Although the timing may seem right, Xiaomi is likely to have a tough time winning the hearts of iPhone users in Japan. The Japanese government has made it mandatory for carriers to separate data fees from handset prices to enable users to be aware of what exactly they are paying for. The government also ordered carriers to cut down cancellation fees on two-year contracts to ¥1,000 from about ¥9,500.

The new rules also put a cap on handset discounts, limiting discounts to ¥20,000 to avoid excessive price cuts on specific devices.

Xiaomi intends to swoop in with its cost-effective smartphones. The Mi Note 10 models cost about half of the latest iPhone models. The firm in 2019 declared that it would cap its net profit margin from hardware products to 5 percent. Wang said that the company can still make profits due to economies of scale in addition to its online businesses. Xiaomi will also roll out some non-smartphone products in Japan this month, including a smart wearable device and a rice cooker.

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