Chinese smartphone maker Xiaomi budget brand Redmi, unveiled its first 5G model on Tuesday, with the goal of bringing affordable handsets to the market now dominated by mid to high-end smartphones.
The K30 5G model, carrying the Qualcomm Snapdragon 765G processor and supporting both non-standalone (NSA) and standalone (SA) 5G networks, is priced between 1,999 yuan ($284.1) to 2,899 yuan.
The pricing has surprised many in the industry, being substantially lower than expected.
Last week, Wu Qiang the vice president of Xiaomi rival OPPO, said people should expect the industry to unveil 5G models priced lower than 3,000 yuan no earlier than the middle of 2020. Wu added 5G models cheaper than 2,000 yuan wouldn’t be available until the end of next year.
Redmi brand-head and Xiaomi’s China region president Lu Weibing said Redmi will be in the “most aggressive position” when it comes to 5G competition in 2020. Lu didn’t mention whether the low prices will affect K30 5G's profitability, though he admitted 5G models’ costs are higher than 4G models’.
Industry monitoring and research company Gartner believed K30 5G’s sales, which might bring vitality to Xiaomi's recent sluggish sales performance, won’t have a significant impact immediately after its formal release which is scheduled for January, due to limited supply of the Qualcomm chipset. However, Gartner believed K30 5G’s affordable prices will help the marketing for the brand.