XIAOMI — IT’S ALL ABOUT CREATING ARTIFICIAL DEMAND AND LEAVING USERS DISGRUNTLED

Almost every month Chinese mobile-manufacturer Xiaomi is launching a new phone in Indian market, but it has failed to attract Indian phone users, particularly in the segment above Rs.10,000. Xiaomi, which is being accused of creating artificial demand by releasing only a limited number of smartphones, has now been branded as a low-end manufacturer that has failed to attract Indians buying mid-level and hi-end phones, writes Parul Manchanda

NEW DELHI, NOVEMBER 3, 2017: Xiaomi may be selling good number of phones in India, but it lags way behind its competition when it comes to quality of its products. Internet is flooded with negative reviews and complaints by Xiaomi users, with most complaining about serious overheating problems, poor battery backup, sub-standard CPU and poor quality touchscreen. YouTube is also flooded with various videos complaining about their poor experience while using Xiaomi phones.

In September, Xiaomi’s Redmi Note 4 smartphone exploded in the pocket of a user in Andhra Pradesh’s East Godavari district. The user suffered various injuries due to the phone burst in the pocket. The incident was reported after a video showing an alleged Redmi Note 4 exploding went viral.

Ictflash.com talked to various users of Xiaomi and found that many users were extremely disappointed with MI smartphones. Pankaj Sharma, a Xiaomi Mi Note 4 user, thinks that the only USP of the smartphone is its cheap price. “Indians have the habit of running behind cheap products like Xiaomi smartphones. They don’t mind about the services and product quality they are getting.”

Xiaomi users feels that due to overheating problems, they fear that their MI phone could burst easily. “The device heats up to 42 degree Celsius and can explode when you will play the games or use it for more than 10 minutes,” said a Xiaomi phone user.

Similarly, Abhishek Bhola, who uses Xiaomi Note 3, says the company is giving lot of features in the low price segment but the device is not really good. “There are several issues like I am getting trouble with the charger and touchscreen is of poor quality. As there are two sides of the coin, the device also has some negatives as well as some positive points. We can’t expect iPhone’s quality from Xiaomi, which is selling the devices in the low price range of Rs.10,000 to Rs.20,000.”

Another Xiaomi Mi5 user Kishan Chaurasia says: “Xiaomi has no presence in after-sales service. The hardware inside is of poor quality. Performance is frustrating. The phone gets heated up. Charging is poor and phone hangs easily.”

Such complaints of poor quality Xiaomi smartphones are a common feature on various websites. For instance, Vivek Sunny who uses Redmi Note 4 writes in gsmarena.com: “It is a worst device as per the issues and services by Xiaomi. USB and adapter are not compatible with the battery capacity of charging. One will suffer replacing charging accessories multiple times. Battery bloat is very much serious. The cases of phone blast are real because I had also experienced the battery bloat issue.”

Similarly, Amrita Sheth has written on Amazon that “Xiaomi smartphone has heating issues, network issues and voice keeps cracking while talking on calls ever with a replacement phone facing these issues.” She has given 1-star
rating to the Xiaomi device.

M Durga, a certified buyer on Flipkart while writing about her experience while using Mi Note 4 says that the it did not meet her expectations and has given it poor 1-star rating. Another certified user Satish Kumar is also unsatisfied with the product.

A user on Gadgets 360’s website wrote that “MI service centre is very bad, so many people are there daily to avail the services, you need to wait for more than 2 hours to get your turn. My mobile was more in service centre than in my hands.”

Tridib Mandal on 91mobiles.com said that “Mi4 has the big issue. I have used this phone for two days and I feel my ears are burning. I compared this phone with Moto-g first generation. I just called Moto-g from this cellphone and after 20 mins the battery temperature was 42.8 degree Celsius, whereas Moto-g was 32 degree. After charging from 56% the battery temperature was 48 degree. After charging you just cannot talk on this phone. The head of the phone is heated up like anything.”

According to Gadgetsnow.com, Xiaomi Redmi Note 4 looks quite similar to many other Chinese smartphones available in the market. As such there is no ‘key take away’ or ‘special feature’ that the smartphone boast of.

Firstpost.com reported that Xiaomi Redmi Note 4 disappointed its fans by choosing efficiency over performance in the model, which will allow it to sustain demanding operations for longer. “Some users have also been reporting an overheating problem with the Xiaomi Redmi note 3, where the demanding applications would cause the phone to overheat and close the application,” it added. Shirish Panchal, a Xiaomi Redmi note 4 user, also complained about a very bad experience on BGR website. Within two months of purchase motherboard was not working.

The Chinese smartphone company may have secured the second position in Indian smartphone segment in volume terms, but leading global technology market research firm Canalys says Xiaomi has failed to make its mark when it comes to phone priced between Rs.15,000 and Rs.20,000. The Chinese firm remains caterer to low-end smartphone market.

Telecom experts have also accused Xiaomi of creating fake/artificial demand by not releasing enough phones. “In a market of 100 crore mobile users, Xiaomi releases just a few thousand phones and that too in a staggered manner creating an artificial demand. In an open market Xiaomi should release more phones and then only its real attraction will be known. Is their any way to find out whether those buying or booking MI phones on various e-commerce websites are real buyers or fake users planted by Xiaomi itself to created fake demand. First who release just a few thousand phones and then announce that they are best-sellers. It is nothing but marketing gimmick and Indians are being fooled by it,” said a telecom expert.

ICTFlash.com tried to contact senior Xiaomi executives for their reaction/version via email and phone but no one responded.


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