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Xiaomi Should Return To The PH, But With A New Strategy

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Should Xiaomi Come Back to the Philippines?

Love them or hate them, Xiaomi brought something unique to the table when they first setup shop in the Philippines, namely the promise of high-spec devices with very attractive prices. Unfortunately, that promise came with a price – an internet only sales model that wasn’t cut out for prime time. Unfortunately, a purely online only sales model isn’t something that Philippine consumers are ready for.

Read: Xiaomi announces Mi 5s with ultrasonic fingerprint scanner

One only had to look at how Xiaomi presented the results of their first few flash sales in the Philippines. Normally, they post how fast their phones sold out, along with the quantity, on the respective Mi Facebook page of whatever country the flash sale is in. They’ve done that in the Philippines once or twice, but they’ve never disclosed the quantity, which tells me that it wasn’t a whole lot to begin with. Compare that with the phenomenal sell out of their other products during the same time frame in other countries and you already know something’s amiss with their sales strategy in the Philippines.

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With falling sales and delayed release cycles, the company had no choice but to silently exit the Philippine market. To be fair, the company did try the offline sales route, but it was too little too late. Combine that with the growing resentment of fans that felt they were being sold old stock even as our neighbors got to buy brand-new devices, then you can see why Xiaomi did what they did. But despite their official absence, their products have never been more popular. Stores like Widget City enjoy brisk sales of Xiaomi’s products, and to be honest there’s still a need for competitive, bang-for-the-buck phones like the Mi 5s in the country.

From Online to Offline Retail, Latest Phones Available Please

So, we’re asking Xiaomi: come back to the Philippines. But come back with a more solid retail plan that doesn’t completely rely on online sales. Believe it or not, Filipinos are willing to pay a little more to buy phones in physical locations, as long as the added cost is reasonable.

One other thing – if you guys consider coming back here for a second try, make sure that the release date for your latest phones for the Philippines is on par with other countries. We can all use Google, and we know when you’re trying to pass on old stock to us.

Should Xiaomi return? Let us know in the comments below.

John Nieves

John is a veteran technology and gadget journalist with more than 10 years of experience both in print and online. When not writing about technology, he frequently gets lost in the boonies playing soldier.

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13 Comments

  1. Simple economics: demand and supply. Marketing, too. Look elsewhere if the reception is poor – why bother. Markets all have unique tastes.

  2. I agree with you, XIaomi still sells a lot here in the ph despite the presence is non-official and through resellers only. They have really good hardware for the price.

  3. Yeah they sold old stocks we were getting an mi4i while others were getting an mi4c which is so much better…

    Although they may have just intentionally opened shop here for a bit just to unload some stupid old stocks they had… well screw that

  4. maybe xiaomi want to be present again in phil. turf coz they know people here love their released phones.. however maybe they will think twice because they cant afford to offer a lovely low price for the great specs due to high tax rate imposed here in the phils. and the unsatisfactorily working ethics at custom area unlike countries like india and china. (only my opinion)

  5. It’s a bit naive to think that we are such an important market that Xiaomi would go to such lengths just to penetrate the Philippine smartphone market. They tried, we didn’t reciprocate, they adjusted. Like any one-sided relationship, it was doomed to failure. Xiaomi caters to the techies, those who read tech blogs, not manong who only knows about MyPhone and Nokia, or our Tita who only cares about the iPhone or a Galaxy S series phone. If Xiaomi went the retail store route, they’ll be spending way too much for floor space, advertising, aftersales support to keep the price increase at a reasonable level (P5000 more?) and for what? A miniscule submarket of techies who might prefer other brands? I’m sorry but if we want companies like Xiaomi to come to the Philippines, we have to show them that we want them here and that means being receptive to their sales model. The duties and tariff alone would kill them, online sales is one way for them to keep the cost down, add in the other expenses they need to account for and we’ll be lucky if the Mi 5S doesn’t go over 25k. It’s still a good price for the phone but aside from us, who else will be buying it? Filipinos are a brand conscious bunch. HTC folded sometime three years ago, Motorola supposedly re-entered the market but where are they now, etc. Everyone else that’s not named Apple or Samsung is competing for the midrange and budget market.

  6. The Xiaomi grey market is still alive and booming. They should return and give us the latest models instead of dumping us with old models from India like they did.

    Xiaomi Singapore is still operating even if they have a smaller market because they bring in the latest models to their country.

  7. I like to put both my coins and phone in the same pocket so the perpetually bare glass of Xiaomi phones will still make me want to avoid them.

  8. Our market is too fragmented and volume not enticing to them. There are too many players chasing a small pie. Sure, numbers are huge for low margin phones like those local brands sells for 3k or less. But go a little higher, and numbers don’t pop. The Flash Plus 2 got multiple price cuts in so short a time, not entirely good sign. Even the supposedly hotcake phone from Oppo (F1s), sold just 19,000 in three days (as per another website); 19,000 might look like a big number, but with Xiaomi’s 2015 shipment of 70 million+, anything less than 100,000 (low-end estimate) would not be worth Xiaomi’s time and effort…

    Still, I really wished they are still here, for they would serve as a check on Asus and Samsung and their premium pricing…

  9. Good article. Xiaomi makes good quality phones at affordable prices. they should come back (should’t have left in the first place). i’ve never tried buying their products from re-sellers, as i’ve felt their prices was a ripoff.

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