Xiaomi is trying to enter the high-end smartphone market with the Xiaomi 13 Pro. In it, the Chinese giant will fight with competitors Apple and Samsung.

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Xiaomi launched its flagship smartphone globally on Sunday as the Chinese electronics giant tries to grab a slice of the high-end market and challenge an apple and Samsung.

The Xiaomi 13 and 13 Pro were originally launched in China in December, but the Beijing-headquartered company is now bringing the devices to overseas markets.

The Xiaomi 13 Pro device has a 6.73-inch display and the latest Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 chipset from the American firm. Qualcomm. It has a triple lens camera and other premium features like super fast charging. The company talked about the capabilities of its camera, which it “developed” together with the German firm Leica.

The Xiaomi 13 starts at €999 ($1,053), while the 13 Pro starts at €1,299.

Xiaomi had a tough year in 2022, with its smartphone shipments down 26% year-on-year, according to research firm IDC, the biggest drop among the top five phone vendors. The latest financial results are available, the company suffered a loss in the September quarter.

Xiaomi has faced a number of headwinds, in particular a more difficult macroeconomic situation with the slowing economy in China. According to IDC, 1.21 billion smartphones were shipped in 2022, the lowest annual shipment volume since 2013.

“Xiaomi faces many headwinds in China due to the ever-popular Apple iPhone, surprisingly strong Honor and fickle Chinese consumers who often switch between Android hardware brands instantly,” TechInsights analyst Neil Mawston told CNBC via email.

Honor is a Chinese smartphone brand that spun off from Huawei.

Over the years, Xiaomi has developed into one of the largest smartphone manufacturers thanks to its strategy of releasing devices with high specifications at a very competitive price. It began pushing into foreign markets about seven years ago, following a similar strategy. But now it aims to enter the higher end of the market, where margins are higher and the market is still growing.

High-end smartphones costing more than $800 will account for 18% of the total phone market in 2022, up from 11% in 2020, Canalys data shows. Xiaomi’s push into the premium segment will pit it against Apple and Samsung, posing a challenge for its Chinese rival. According to Canalys, Samsung and Apple devices will account for 92% of the high-end market in 2022.

“Competing with Apple and Samsung is incredibly difficult. Not only to match the leading products in the market, but especially to go up against the huge companies with exceptional brand recognition, high perception, experience-oriented solutions and product ecosystems with high user engagement,” Canalys analyst Runar Bjorhøde told CNBC via email. mail.

Xiaomi is the latest Chinese smartphone player trying to crack the high-end market. Oppo launched its first foldable phone for overseas markets this month, costing more than $1,000.

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