When Poco F1, or Pocophone F1 because it was known as globally, launched again in August 2018, it was pitched towards the OnePlus 6. The Poco F1 had all the options and specs anticipated of a flagship at the time. On prime of this, the beginning value of Rs 20,999 made the Poco F1, a extra inexpensive different to the OnePlus 6, which began at Rs 34,999.
But then Xiaomi’s sub-brand fell off the map and Poco disappeared for until the finish of 2019, with hypothesis rife that the model was about to shut down. However, Poco staged a comeback in 2020 with an entire new lineup of telephones, beginning with the X2, adopted up by the much more inexpensive M and C collection. It would additionally function independently from its guardian Xiaomi, although at a world degree they’re nonetheless a part of the identical group.
In 2021, Poco India is asserting its model id additional with a revamp of its logo. The Poco logo now features a customized ‘Mad’ emoji rather than the first ‘O’. The ‘Mad’ emoji has obtained some combined response if one had been to take a look at it kindly.
“Our social strategy has been slightly off-track. The new logo for Poco embraces our key philosophy, which is ‘Made of Mad’,” Anuj Sharma, Country Director for Poco India advised indianexpress.com over a name. Sharma additionally argued that as a result of emojis have grow to be a a lot accepted “part of our usual communication,” they have an inclination to have “a better brand recognition.”
Poco’s change in technique is exhausting to ignore. While OnePlus, its unique perceived competitor, has gone more and more premium, Poco’s lineup is now dominated by telephones priced between Rs 8,000 to Rs 20,000 — additionally the bread and butter of mom model Xiaomi.
Still, the diversified technique seems to have labored for Poco. According to numbers from the International Data Corporation, POCO entered the “top 5 online channel vendor list” in 2020, additional strengthening Xiaomi’s share in the market.
Data from Counterpoint Research confirmed that Poco crossed 5 million shipments for the first time in the fourth quarter of 2020 pushed by its M2, M2 Pro and C3 fashions; no small feat for a model in the extremely aggressive Indian market.
“The brand has done well in 2020. Their limited model portfolio strategy has worked in terms of giving volumes, considering the intense competition in which Poco is playing now. The brand is perceived as giving some extra value than others in the market with more youthful energy,” Navkendar Singh, Research Director at IDC advised indianexpress.com over an e-mail. IDC although didn’t share the actual market share for Poco.
According to Sharma, its funds pleasant Poco C3, the extra mid-range M2 have all offered greater than 1,000,000 models. The firm is at present in an online-only mannequin in India, with no presence in offline retail, which nonetheless instructions a considerable share of the market in the nation.
Independent, however not fairly
But regardless of the modest success, Poco is working in what can solely be thought of a troublesome area and this is not misplaced on Sharma. The smartphone trade has been consolidating. He admits that from 30 to 35 manufacturers that used to promote a number of years again, it is now down to 10.
IDC knowledge reveals that ‘Others’ in the Indian smartphone market area account for simply 16.6 million shipments for all of 2020, a contraction of 23 per cent in contrast to the 12 months earlier than. In distinction, market chief Xiaomi’s shipments stood at 41 million for all of 2020.
And whereas Poco is technically unbiased, it is nonetheless depending on Xiaomi. As Sharma describes it, the relationship is nearer to how Realme, Oppo and OnePlus are a part of the BBK group. “They’ve seen the benefits in the global supply chain and it is something similar here,” he underlined. Realme, which solely began in 2018, is already amongst the prime 5 distributors in India.
“In the last four years, there’s not been a single brand without a larger one backing it. The stakes of creating a brand in 2020-21 are so much higher. One million of anything is not too much to get you on the supplier side. They are looking at 10s of millions of parts,” Sharma defined.
But breaking the notion that Poco is not a Xiaomi sub-brand is simpler mentioned than completed. For one, individuals maintain mentioning how a few of the telephones are revamped Xiaomi merchandise. The Poco X2 and Redmi K30 had been seen as carbon copies of one another.
“Poco is independent from product portfolio, teams, etc. What that essentially means is that as we kind of grow, we start having slightly different products,” Sharma insists. This is what Poco considerably managed with the X3 the place it used the Snapdragon 732G processor, which has to this point not been accessible on some other cellphone.
But what of the ‘flagship’ technique? According to Sharma, going unbiased meant they’ll’t be promoting only one explicit gadget.
“In India, about 75-80% of the phones that were selling were below $200, which is about Rs 15,000. With X2, we were trying to get as close as possible to that particular segment, so that you have enough stake in the market, you have enough volumes,” he mentioned.
He identified that Poco F1 at $300, could also be extraordinarily inexpensive for the US market, however in India, it was hitting the premium phase. The firm has as a substitute adopted a extra “balanced portfolio” strategy so as to promote to extra individuals.
“For the business to make sense, you have to go beyond the premium segment. I am extremely thankful that we took the call, because by the time we got to about June, July, the sub-$200 segment had actually grown to about 84 or 85%. More and more people in the pandemic decided that ‘I’m not going to spend as much.’ At that point having a C3 and M2 helped,” he identified.