Chinese smartphone manufacturers have done a booming business in India especially in 2018. Out of all, Xiaomi has emerged as one of the leading smartphone sellers in India. Combined with its affordable pricing and attractive offerings, the brand has managed to create a significant stronghold in the country. Other brands like Oppo, Vivo and Realme, which are coincidentally owned by the same company, BBK Electronics have also sold an impressive number of units throughout the year. However, the success of these brands which they base over their affordable pricing might be and the reason for that would be the plunging rupee.
Realme to Increase Prices of its Smartphones
The second brand which has hinted towards walking the same path after Xiaomi seems to be Realme. As per a recent Tweet by Madhav Sheth, CEO of Realme India, the brand has been on the back foot owing to the declining margins majorly disrupted by the falling Rupee. Further, Sheth said that the brand would hike prices after Diwali to make up for the thinning margins and to make sure that Realme continues to bring the best to people.
Summarising, it is pretty evident that a lot of smartphone manufacturers are already gearing up for hiking the prices of their products post-Diwali. With these two manufacturers publicly expressing their interest towards the same, we expect the other brands to follow suit. Since some of the most prominent smartphone brands of India are in the pool, the plunging Rupee is bound to affect other companies as well.
Xiaomi Hints Towards Price Hike Beforehand
In the past few months, we have been seeing that more and more smartphone manufacturers are coming out with information announcing their plans about hiking the prices of smartphones owing to the decline of the Rupee against the dollar. If the same continues, then this definitely would not please the consumers. A lot of smartphone buyers out there especially those who buy smartphones in the budget segment or those who are buying a smartphone for the first time are looking for cheap and affordable options which can get them going. Often these people turn to the handful of Chinese brands only, in such a case, it is going to be a big dent for the manufacturers as no longer will they be sought after.
In the past, the Chinese smartphone manufacturers have indeed cracked the budget oriented price point by introducing correctly priced devices in these strata. However, if the brands are forced to hike their prices, then there is bound to be an absolute blow to these OEMs.
The first victim of the plunging Rupee seems to be Xiaomi, which has already hinted towards price hike back in September. The news came out from the officials around the same time when the brand launched its Redmi 6 line-up in India.
Xiaomi India CEO, Muralikrishnan B also spoke a few words about this issue, “This is an introductory pricing on Redmi 6A and Redmi 6 for the next couple of months but we are waiting and watching to see how the rupee-dollar exchange rate moves. For the past four-five months the rupee has been tumbling to surprisingly low levels…who knows in which direction this will go.” He further added, “We wait and watch, see how the rupee-dollar exchange rate moves and then take the appropriate call keeping in mind that we need to deliver great quality, specs and honest pricing. If it stays at Rs 71 or depreciates further we might have to reconsider some of this pricing as it is unsustainable to continue with this over a long period of time.”
Back then, the rupee value was Rs 71, but now, it has surpassed over Rs 73 and on the verge of reaching Rs 75. So Xiaomi might hike the prices too once the festive season ends.
Arpit spends his day closely following the telecom and tech industry. A music connoisseur and a night owl, he also takes a deep interest in the Indian technology start-up scene and spends rest of his time spilling poetry and stories on paper.