Forget Apple and Samsung; Xiaomi leads the 5G phone revolution


You may have been impressed by the Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL) iPhone 11 Pro Max, which includes three cameras, including a neat telephoto lens, and costs $ 1,100 and up, depending on your storage option. Or maybe you are in awe of the Samsung (OTC: SSNLF) Galaxy Fold, the first phone with a fold-out screen to hit the market, which currently costs close to $ 2,000.

But if you like these fancy phones, you ain’t seen nothing yet, says Chinese phone maker Xiaomi (OTC: XIACF). Get ready for the Mi Mix Alpha – its features are even bolder and its price tag is even higher.

Image source: Xiaomi.

A phone that’s almost all screen

There are a lot of cool features in the Mi Mix Alpha. It has a Qualcomm 855+ processor, the same as the Galaxy S10. It has 512GB of storage and 12GB of RAM, which is triple the iPhone 11 Pro Max and 4GB more than the Galaxy S10, which has 8GB, although that’s even with the Galaxy Fold of 12 GB. And of course, like any leading smartphone released this year (except Apple), the Mi Mix Alpha supports 5G.

However, the main feature of the Mi Mix Alpha’s business card is that it is almost completely covered with a high definition “2K” QHD display. That’s right – the screen takes up almost the entire phone, including the back, with just a small strip to house the phone’s 108MP camera – an ultra-high-definition camera feature co-developed with Samsung , which sports the most pixel count and biggest chip of any smartphone camera to date.

A strange new world

With a fully screened phone, users have to adapt to new habits. For example, the volume buttons are now gone. Instead, there are software-activated touch buttons on the side of the phone where they would normally be. Plus, the screen on either side means that to take a selfie you just need to turn the camera around and you’ll still be able to see what the viewfinder sees on the back of the camera. There is no front camera to “turn” to.

Two Mi Mix Alpha phones, one facing up and one on the side, showing the black band that houses its camera.

Image source: Xiaomi.

An interesting notion

Although the Mi Max Alpha made waves when its specs were released in September, the phone is unlikely to be mass produced, as it’s still just a concept phone. That’s probably because it has battery life issues, as you would expect from such a feature-rich phone, and it’ll cost around $ 2,800 when it releases in December, well. more than even the most premium Apple or Samsung model.

So why would Xiaomi embark on this quest for a phone with limited appeal? Likely to boost the Xiaomi brand. Xiaomi was just made public last year and has a long history of being a low-cost supplier. However, the company is now in fierce competition for high-end models. In fact, Xiaomi has parted ways with a second brand, Redmi, just to focus on low-end phones, while the remaining Xiaomi brand will now push higher on the mid-to-high-end customer segment in an attempt to making the Xiaomi brand synonymous with next-generation innovation.

Xiaomi’s strategy for change comes at a time when its core segment of phones is slowing down considerably. In the last quarter, Xiaomi’s phone segment grew only 5%, a huge deceleration from the 58.7% growth in the quarter of the previous year. Of course, Xiaomi is not alone – the global smartphone market is shrinking as phones last longer and consumers expect 5G phones. A ridiculous $ 2,800 concept phone with features not yet considered by other global phone giants is certainly a way to promote Xiaomi’s commitment to innovation in a crowded smartphone arena.

Speaking of 5G, due to the positive response from customers to its recent 5G releases, Xiaomi has just announced that it will release 10 5G phone models in 2020. This is probably more than any other global manufacturer of phones and is a testament to Xiaomi’s dedication to customer satisfaction and innovation. Therefore, the Mi Max Alpha could be a bold way to showcase Xiaomi’s innovations ahead of the larger versions of 5G phones next year.

Watch out for Xiaomi

The Mi Mix Alpha concept phone might not attract many customers with its “a bit much” features and outrageous price tag; however, let’s not dismiss the effort out of hand. In response to the slowdown in growth, Xiaomi is not accepting the status quo but instead is pushing the gas.

The Alpha and the bold line of 10 5G phones 2020 show that Xiaomi will continue to be a fierce competitor and innovator unafraid to push new boundaries. Moreover, its push towards high-end phones should make world leaders Samsung, Apple and their national rival Huawei look over their collective shoulders. Technology transitions such as 5G offer new companies the opportunity to overtake previous leaders, so technology investors and customers should keep an eye on the 5G race to see which emerging company will assume the new 5G throne.

This article represents the opinion of the author, who may disagree with the “official” recommendation position of a premium Motley Fool consulting service. We are heterogeneous! Questioning an investment thesis – even one of our own – helps us all to think critically about investing and make decisions that help us become smarter, happier, and richer.

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