Xiaomi with it’s launch of Mi3 in India in July 2014 changed the Indian smartphone model. It was a revolution in the sense that suddenly there was a solid phone with a great screen, great camera, solid build for 14k.
With the weekly sale model, everyone wanted a Mi3 but very few could get it. By the time 2-3 months later Xiaomi petered off the Mi3, the reputation had been set.
The Mi3 launch was followed by the Redmi 1s launch. This was followed by the Redmi Note, Redmi Note 4G , Redmi 2, Mi 4 and Mi 4i. In between there was also the launch of the MiPad and Mi Band.
Now while the MiBand and even the power bank continues to sell out, the intial strategy of flash sales has been discontinued for all Xiaomi phones ( Mi 4i continues I think). This has primarily been driven by the fierce competition and thus unlike earlier when Mi 3 was a clear winner at its price point, each phone has strong competition and the final call is tough.
Three mistakes of Xiaomi made it lose it’s edge-
1. They launched the wrong model first- Mi 4 was at a different pricepoint. When it was launched at nearly 19k for the 16 Gb model, the phone was overpriced and with limited storage not the right fit for the high end user. OnePlus One with its competitive offerings had clearly understood this and launched the 64 Gb model first. Other players gave the option of extended memory but not Xiaomi. The Mi3 at it’s launch succeeded with the 16 Gb option as it was a category creater & aggressively priced.
2. Long Product Wait- The wait for a model to be launched in India was nearly 6-8 months which killed enthusiasm. e.g. Mi 4 was supposed to be a new 4 G model but when it was finally launched 4 G was not implemented and there was no 64 Gb model. Long product waits kill the product and any enthusiasm especially when you fail to deliver the promise and the same happened with Xiaomi.
3. They forgot the first rule of business was to compete. The Mi 4 price point was all wrong and the delayed price decrease did nothing to cool discontent. I think many people thought why not the OnePlus One over Mi 4. At least there was 4G and thus less chance of early obsolesce. Competitive mapping is important & Xiaomi forgot it. I think they are learning it with the Mi 4i but a bit of customer focus could have saved them the blushes.