Xiaomi CEO Lei Jun Explains The Quite Expensive Price of Mi Note Pro

Donning a price tag of 3,299 CNY or roughly $530 USD (that's around Php 24,000), the recently announced Mi Note Pro is now officially the most expensive device to ever be released by the Chinese company.

That title was previously held by the high-spec'd Mi4, which sold for only $320 in China and in other key markets upon launch.

Perhaps not used to seeing rather expensive releases from the disruptive Chinese company that already has a reputation for always coming up with very pocket-friendly devices, some Mi fans were quick to question why Xiaomi opted to price their new phablet that way.

One of my readers - who got his Mi3 flagship for only Php 10,599 ($237 USD) during the Lazada flash sale in the Philippines last June 2014 - messaged me on Facebook and said, "Sir Mark, I was shocked to learn that the new Mi phablet will sell for more than Php 20,000. Not used to seeing a pricey Xiaomi phone."

Xiaomi CEO, Lei Jun, Lei Jun Xiaomi

Well, it appears Xiaomi had already expected to get such reaction from their loyal followers with the unveiling of their new high-end release. Last January 16, 2015, Xiaomi CEO Lei Jun talked to the media and explained why they opted to release a device that seemingly doesn't go well with what the company stands for. Here's the transcript:

"Firstly, Xiaomi is now the choice of consumers in the electronics market in China, Xiaomi sold 61.12 million smartphones in 2014 solely, equivalent to an average of one Xiaomi smartphone in every 20 people. Such an immense number of sales clearly depicts the user group of Xiaomi has expanded from enthusiasts to general users and high end community. When the user group has expanded, demand and purchasing capabilities increases and diversifies.

Secondly, consumers demand better overall satisfaction; besides top-of-the-line specs craved by enthusiasts and high price-to-spec ratio demanded by general consumers, better aesthetics and hands-on feel are more preferred by users. Xiaomi therefore strives to satisfy the demands of users, throwing in resources for the best designs and quality whilst providing the best hardware on the market to truly live up to the enthusiast level."

Xiaomi Mi Note

He added, "In the race for unique design, countless efforts were thrown in to perfect the product, from the metal frame to the curved glass top and bottom, especially the first-in-class 3D curved glass back of high production cost. We're still going for high price-to-spec ratio even when we have to sell devices at 3299 CNY with a minimal profit margin. Xiaomi strives to provide the best spec and price-to-spec ratio for every price point, as it is the modus operandi and principle of Xiaomi. It was never an easy path, designing and making the Mi Note took Xiaomi two years.

Xiaomi adheres to their principle since the very beginning - to provide user with enthusiast level products. Installed in the very heart of the Mi Note are a mobile Hi-Fi system, back snapper with OIS and big aperture, front snapper that features large pixels. The Mi Note Pro even features the most powerful octacore 64-bit Qualcomm Snapdragon 810 SoC combined with 4GB LPDDR4 RAM, 64GB eMMC 5.0 ROM, 2K display and CAT 9 FDD-LTE. All of these hardware, packed in a package sold with minimal profits.

Xiaomi Mi Note will be the kickstarter of Xiaomi in 2015, and the company will climb to a higher peak; to reach a further milestone; to provide products perfected till the limits of human capabilities and to establish cooperative relationships with other companies. All this, to make your home smarter, easier, faster and more fun."

If you ask me, I really think it's high time for Xiaomi to release a device that can compete in the ultra-high-end category and give devices like the Apple iPhone 6 Plus and Samsung Galaxy Note 4 a run for the money. If you're just looking at Mi Note Pro's price, it would really appear to be quite expensive -- but then you also have to take a look at what you're getting for that amount. And considering everything that the device gives consumers, I believe this upcoming phablet definitely reinforces Xiaomi's 'value for money' proposition.

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