Xiaomi's first drone, the Mi Drone, will be priced as much as 20% lower than products coming from market leader DJI technology. The company earlier said that it would unveil its first unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) on 25 May, but did not provide details of its pricing.
The launch of Xiaomi's first UAV would mark the Beijing firm's debut in the expanding drones market that is dominated by Shenzhen-based DJI. Drone sales are expected to hit four million units in 2016 and would go all the way to 16 million units by 2020.
While companies such as Syma Toys and Hubsan are targeting the lower segment of the drones market, Xiaomi is planning to make a foothold in the consumer drone market. Li Zhuoqi, marketing director for Xiaomi, who did not disclose pricing details said, "While making good-quality products, the price point has to be competitive as well. We have set a very thin margin for drones but the product line is set to be profitable."
Xiaomi smartphone market
As far as growth in the smartphones business is concerned, Xiaomi is expecting a slowdown in China. Shou Zi Chew, Xiaomi's chief financial officer earlier said, "The natural ceiling for the market is about 500 million phones."
Smartphone shipments in China grew by 3% to hit 438 million units in 2015, according to a research by Strategy Analytics and Xiaomi was the leader in the smartphones business with a 15% market share in the China in 2015.
Despite selling smartphones at lower prices – without involving any third-party retailer and selling directly to consumers – Xiaomi missed its target of selling 100 million devices last year and was overtaken by Huawei.
Meanwhile, Linda Sui, director at Strategy Analytics said, "China smartphone shipments declined 4 percent annually from 123.0 million units in Q4 2014 to 117.9 million in Q4 2015. China smartphone growth is slowing due to market saturation, inventory build and economic headwinds. However, for the full year, China smartphone shipments grew 3 percent annually from 423.6 million units in 2014 to a record 437.8 million in 2015."