Saturday , June 19 2021

China company Xiaomi frees Mi 8 Pro in the UK. Should Apple, Samsung be nervous?

Chinese phone maker Xiaomi launched its first smart phone in the United Kingdom and dropped the call for Apple and Samsung.

Its whimsical Mi 8 Pro phone today will be sold in the UK – the first time the device is available outside of China.

Xiaomi is the fourth largest smart phone manufacturer in the world by market share, just behind Samsung, Huawei and Apple.

Xiaomi stores like this in Beijing are common in China, but have not yet seen in the UK (Picture: AFP)

The Mi 8 Pro includes a fingerprint sensor embedded in a 6.2-inch AMOLED display and a twin 12-megapixel rear camera. It uses the Snapdragon 845 processor and launches a custom version of the Google Android operating system.

All features found on high-end rival phones that can cost more than £ 700, but Xiaomi will sell Mi 8 Pro starting at £ 499 as part of a strategy called "honest prices."

Wang Xiang, senior vice president, said: "Today we are witnessing a new chapter in Xiaomi's global expansion path, backed by global ambitions.

"We are thrilled to have made great strides announcing our arrival in the UK.

"By bringing a host of incredible products at a fair price, we want to offer more choices and enable everyone to enjoy a simple life through our innovative technology."

This is the Xiaomi Mi 8 smartphone that was shown during the launch in the UK (Picture: Reuters)

The company will face rigid competition to establish itself on the market, with three new iPhones, two Google Pixel 3 headsets and Samsung, Sony and other Chinese Huawei and OnePlus handsets that have been released in recent months.

Like Pro, Xiaomi will also launch its budget for the Redmi 6A 99 pound device, claiming it has a battery that can last up to 19 days.

The Chinese company also brings a number of other gadgets to the UK, including its Band 3 carrier fitness tracker and electric scooter.

These products go for sale at the Xiaomi Mi physical store, which opens on November 18th at the Westfield shopping mall in Shepherd's Bush, London.

CCustomers watch mobile phones at the Xiaomi store in Beijing (Photo: AFP)

Mobile phone maker Ru Bhikha said the arrival of the UK company should be serious.

"Since launching its first smart phone in August 2011, Xiaomi has quickly gained a strong market position – so much so that it is the fourth largest handset manufacturer in the world," he said.

"Xiaomi is a highly anticipated arrival in the UK and therefore threatens to put a big cat among the pigeons – combining top-tier design and performance at relatively modest prices, this is a real threat to the market.

"Looking to Xiaomi's success so far, it's hard to see how its winning combination of high-end smartphones with lower than expected prices will not lead to similar results here.

"Thursday launch marks the arrival of a significant new boy on the block, and no doubt that it is finally coming to the UK, Xiaomi means work."

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