- Xiaomi’s Mi TV has been the No.1 smart TV brand in India for ten continuous quarters.
- The new Redmi TV lineup is expected to continue doing what the Mi TV range was doing till now. This means the Mi TV can go up the value chain.
- Xiaomi hinted at this strategy when they launched the QLED TVs under the Mi TV lineup earlier this year.
Xiaomi took the country by storm when it launched the Mi TV series in India back in 2018. In a nation where Smart TVs were still seen as a luxury, the Mi TV series made it possible to own a Smart TV at a fraction of a price compared to what the incumbents were selling at that time.
While the first-ever TV from Xiaomi was a premium 4K Mi TV 4 (55″) which was one of the thinnest televisions available anywhere in the world at just 4.9mm, Xiaomi soon got back to what they were known for in the smartphone world – affordable, value for money offerings. Along with super-competitive hardware, the Mi TV could differentiate from other budget Smart TV brands through Patchwall – a well-thought-through interface helping people discover content while not complicating it for cable/DTH viewers.
And the result? The Mi TV has been No.1 Smart TV brand for over ten quarters in India. While they have managed to capture the ‘value’ market like no one else, the ‘premium’ segment is still dominated by Korean and Japanese brands. There is parlance for this in the smartphone market. While being the No.1 smartphone brand in India, Xiaomi ignored the premium segment for a long time and didn’t consistently launch phones in their premium lineups. Without a proper strategy in place, they couldn’t make the right inroads whenever they tried till they did a reboot of sorts last year with the Mi 10 series.
The introduction of the Redmi TV series indicates that Xiaomi thinks the time is ripe to move up the value chain without letting go of its stronghold budget smart TV segment. The new Redmi TV X series, for the most part, is what we used to see with the Mi TV 4A/4X series when it comes to design, build, hardware and software. In fact, The Redmi TV X series carries the usual industrial design with plastic build all over including the table mounts.
Interestingly, they are starting with 50″, 55″, and 65″ models. The argument being, they already have multiple decent offerings from Mi TV at smaller sizes while there is a scope for the overlap at bigger sizes. Eventually, we expect Xiaomi to retire the Mi TV 4X/4A/4C series and replace them with the Redmi lineup. The Rs 57,999 price tag for the 65″ Redmi TV X isn’t ‘budget’ by any means but that’s also a smart move to not let people associate “Redmi TV” brand with “cheap”. Remember, the very first Mi TV in India was a premium 4K Mi TV 4 like I mentioned above.
Xiaomi gave a hint of moving the Mi TV up the value chain when they introduced the QLED Mi TV Q1 series earlier this year. Now with Redmi TV in the fray, one way for Xiaomi to differentiate between the two is to provide the latest and greatest on the Mi TV lineup while keeping the Redmi TV for better value offerings. They don’t need to stick to better display technologies like QLED and OLED (or refresh rates) for the Mi TV range but can also differentiate with better design and build on the Mi TV series (including the remote).
Still, the Redmi TV X series is packed to the brim in terms of features. It comes with some top of the line stuff like 4K HDR 10+ with support for Dolby Vision when it comes to display, DTS Virtual: X, Dolby Atmos, and Dolby Audio when it comes to sound, and finally, 2GB RAM and 16GB storage with ALLM support when it comes to performance. In fact, it’s the first TV from Xiaomi to integrate the Mi Home app. Redmi isn’t skimping down on other essentials like dual-band WiFi, Bluetooth 5.0, eARC, or Quick Wake either. So the primary difference right now is in design and build.
With Mi TV Q1 and Redmi TV X, we are seeing a definite change in strategy for the No.1 smart TV brand in India. Considering what Xiaomi is doing in the Chinese premium TV segment with the Mi TV 5 series, there is a lot to look forward to in the Indian arena as well in the coming months. Exciting times ahead!