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Huawei gets aggressive with Xiaomi in China, puts a tiny price on its massive new phone

Huawei gets aggressive with Xiaomi in China, puts a tiny price on its massive new phone

Huawei took the wraps off its massive MediaPad X1 earlier this week at Mobile World Congress (MWC) in Barcelona. It’s a 7-inch phone and tablet with a 1080p HD screen and options for 3G or 4G. What’s most remarkable about this handful is that Huawei is trying separate price-tags for China and the rest of the world. In most places, the new MediaPad X1 will cost $550 for the 4G LTE variant, but in China it will be a mere $330 (RMB 1,999). The 3G version of the X1 will be just RMB 1,799 ($290) in mainland China.

Engadget’s Richard Lai talked to Huawei Device’s CMO Shao Yang today at MWC, who explains that the phat phablet will be branded differently in China too:

In China, it’s a special case: the X1 is sold under the Honor brand. As Honor is our online brand, we’re saving channel costs and can therefore offer a further deal.

What’s left unsaid is that Huawei really needs to cut its margins in China to fend off fast-growing fellow Chinese phone-makers such as Coolpad and Xiaomi. Xiaomi is an especial risk as its top phone has top-end specs at mid-level prices. And so it’s no coincidence that the LTE model of the Huawei Honor X1 will be the exact same price as the Xiaomi Mi3 – but the Mi3 is 3G-only.

According to IDC, these are China’s top six phone brands in terms of shipments at the end of last year:

Samsung continues to take the lead for smartphone shipments in China

This isn’t actually the first time for Huawei to chop its prices in China. Late last year, Huawei’s new, budget-minded Honor 3C was priced at RMB 798 ($131), which is cheekily one Chinese dollar cheaper than Xiaomi’s cheapest phone, the Xiaomi Hongmi.

Huawei gets aggressive with Xiaomi in China, puts a tiny price on its massive new phone

(Source: Engadget)

(Editing by Paul Bischoff)

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