28 March 2019
This year, MWC was all about foldable phones. Though the brands preferred to talk more about the next generation of internet connectivity i.e. 5G. While the foldable smartphones are still years away from being mainstream, it still became the buzzword overshadowing 5G.
The current generations foldable phones i.e. Samsung Galaxy Fold and Huawei Mate X are exorbitantly pricey all eyes were on Xiaomi to announce an affordable foldable smartphone. The company had earlier showcased a prototype tri-fold foldable smartphone, however, Xiaomi surprisingly stayed quiet and did not announce the phone at MWC along with the Mi Mix 3 5G version.
It looks like the company has decided to wait and play safe at the moment and waiting for the market to mature enough for the technology before announcing one such phone. It is though worth noticing that almost all the 5G phones announced at MWC did not have pricing attached to them apart from Mi Mix 3 5G version.
Xiaomi announced the 5G phone at a price point of USD 680 which just USD 50 more than the 4G variant. This pricing means that the Mi Mix 3 5G may be falling under the cheapest 5G phone already.
“We really wanted to make it as affordable as possible because our philosophy is very much always trying to sell things at the most competitive price as possible, and also selling them at as close to cost as possible,” Donovan Sung, Xiaomi’s global spokesperson said.
The current generation foldable phones are priced north of USD 2000 which is a price way beyond regular users' reach and makes the phone a niche device. On the other hand, Xiaomi works on a very thin margin per device and depends on massive numbers in terms of sales to derive profit for hardware sales. So as of now, the company is betting on 5G technology to gather momentum rather than planning to launch a foldable device any time soon.