They entered the country at the same time; They conquered the market battling against each other; They are now amongst the top three smartphone brands in India. Yes, we are speaking about the not-so-new companies, Xiaomi and Motorola. No one gave them a chance in the Indian market when entered back in 2014. But they stood up in the market with their different innovative business models and grabbed the attention of Indian consumers. At the same time, they dethroned the homegrown smartphone brand, Micromax.
Fast forward to 2017; both the Xiaomi and Motorola are battling for the second position in the market share of the country. According to the IDC data released, Xiaomi is the new number two holding a market share of 10.7 percent, only next to Samsung. On the flip side, we have the Lenovo and Motorola in third place, eyeing for the second place.
Xiaomi’ success has come from the Redmi series of phones, whereas Motorola’s has been successful in India with the Moto G series. Motorola, back in 2014 launched the first Moto G smartphones and gave a glimpse to Indians on the online shopping by selling the smartphone via Flipkart.com. That said, I was one among the queue to grab the phone on the launch day itself and so does million of others. As a result, Flipkart received an outrage of their servers, and the phone went out of stock in seconds. The trend in still continuing with the recently launched Moto G5 Plus.
Xiaomi made a grand entry to India few months after Motorola’s and announced the popular Xiaomi Mi 3 flagship phone for Rs. 13,999. I still remember how people went berserk for the Mi 3 as it was sold through online only, same as Motorola, but with flash sales model, which is entirely different from Motorola’s business model.
You might ask, Why Xiaomi’s Redmi series and Motorola Moto G series has craze in India? Well, the simple answer from me is they offer incredible specifications at cutthroat pricing and importantly better ‘value for money’.
And the battle between both the vendors is still going on. Xiaomi launched their latest Redmi smartphone, the Redmi Note 4 in India in January 2017. Motorola, two weeks ago, launched the Moto G5 Plus in India. Both the phones share a similar set of specifications, but Moto G5 Plus is priced tag higher than what we expected. Nonetheless, people are still getting the phone.
When Xiaomi concentrated in delivering an all rounder, Motorola had gone with the camera-centric phone in 2015. Xiaomi’s Redmi Note 3 was the best budget smartphone in 2015, but the Moto G4 Plus outsmarted it by offering the best camera in the segment. Another huge benefit of Motorola phones is that they ship with stock Android, whereas Xiaomi phones ship with MIUI, one of the features rich and heavily skinned Android version.
Motorola is going neck-on-neck in the budget segment with Xiaomi, but the former is way ahead of the latter in the flagship segment. Xiaomi did not have much success in the country with their flagship phone Xiaomi Mi 5, and they never publicly announced how many units they sold. Motorola is everywhere- the company has the Moto Z Play is the upper mid-range segment and Moto Z in the flagship department and they are innovative as well with the modular design.
Xiaomi is prepping to launch the Mi 6 in April and Moto will unveil their flagship, Moto Z (2017) series of phones in May 2017 or at the Computex event.
Both the Motorola and Xiaomi has the presence in entry-level segment as well. The Moto E3 Play, priced at Rs. 7,999 was the first Moto phone to ship with MediaTek chipset, and the company claimed to have sold over one lakh units on the launch day itself. Xiaomi has the Redmi 3s and the much recent, Redmi 4A in the entry-level segment. The Xiaomi 4A is currently the best value for money option available. However, Motorola is doing a good job in this segment as well. And the Moto G5 is yet to land in India. If Motorola manages to keep the Moto G5 under Rs. 7,000, it will give a healthy competition to the Redmi 4A and Redmi 3s.
Currently, both the brands are having a dream run in the country with every smartphone grabbing the attention of the consumers, but Motorola one step ahead with their offerings when compared to Xiaomi. Especially, Xiaomi is lagging behind Motorola in the flagship department. If Xiaomi delivers an innovative Xioami Mi 6, they will further strengthen their portfolio in the country and who knows, they may dethrone Samsung within two years from now.
Chakri is a go-to guy for your next smartphone recommendation. Back in his engineering days, he used to play with smartphones by installing custom ROMs and that passion got him into the tech industry. He still goes nuts about a smartphone knocking his door for review. Currently managing everything at Telecom Talk, Chakri is trying to master PUBG Mobile in his free time.