“Our long-term goal is to become number 1”

"Our long-term goal is to become number 1"

In an interview, Xiaomi Austria CEO Kurt Manninger reveals whether further Xiaomi flagship stores are planned in Austria, what are the advantages of Xiaomi smartphones and what the company is planning for the future. […]

Kurt Manninger, Country Manager Austria at Xiaomi, at the presentation of the Xiaomi 11T Pro (c) Felipe Kolm

What market positioning does Xiaomi currently have in Austria and what are you aiming for? How do you want to achieve this?

In Europe we are in 1st place and in Austria we are already in 3rd place after our short existence. In the long term, it is clearly our goal to become number 1 and I am convinced that with our diverse and high-quality product range, we also have the potential to achieve this.

How is the share of B2B and B2C business (in percent) at Xiaomi divided?

The majority of our business is sold in the B2C segment. We cannot show the exact proportion between B2B and B2C in this way, since the B2B business runs through our partners, i.e. through network operators and specialist retailers.

Is the establishment of further flagship stores planned in Austria? If so, when and where?

We are planning to expand into several Austrian cities in 2022. We are currently evaluating two new locations, focusing not only on shopping centers, but also taking into account inner-city locations. The decision on when and where to invest in new stores in Austria depends primarily on the economic component of the location. At Xiaomi, we primarily pursue the long-term goal of being able to reach our customers directly when choosing a location.

What about the replenishment of processors, memory and other high-tech materials? Is the Christmas business secured?

The Xiaomi 11T Pro has
a 108 megapixel camera
and is the smartphone flagship
(c) Xiaomi

It is undeniable that the shortage of semiconductor chips is slowing the growth of the smartphone market, because the entire industry is affected. The chip shortage is a serious cut and we also have to reduce our production here and there. Despite everything, we are on a good way to reduce restrictions on popular models, but we could sell more, because the potential would be there.

What is Xiaomi doing for the environment? Which sustainability measures have you already implemented, which are you planning to implement in the short and medium term?

Sustainability is an important topic for us at Xiaomi and we therefore see it as our obligation as a company to do our part. At Xiaomi, we are committed to building a sustainable world and are constantly working on sustainability initiatives to improve the world we live in. A few months ago, we published our Sustainability Report 2020 and once again clarified our efforts there: We have already taken a big step forward and reduced non-recyclable packaging plastic by about 80 percent.

Do you take back used mobile phones (of your own brand or other brands)?

Take-back systems in the entire smartphone market are mainly run by external companies, but these are rather sluggish due to the sluggish acceptance of Austrian customers.

What is the main selling point for your smartphones?

The smartphone is the core of our product range: Xiaomi stands for innovative and high-quality premium products at smart prices. Our mission is to create exceptional products with fair prices to enable all people to have a better life through innovative technologies. Thanks to the latest innovations, such as the Mi Air Charge technology or the mechanical zoom lens, we are rightly acting as a game-changer in the technology industry. In addition to our numerous outstanding smartphones, however, we also offer a variety of smart products that are connected to each other by IoT and can be controlled centrally and are now just as impressive as our smartphones.

How important is the camera on mobile phones? Huawei cooperates with Leica, Vivo with ZEISS. Are similar collaborations planned at Xiaomi?

With our smartphones, we pay special attention to the so-called “ABCD” specifications: audio, battery, camera and display. We pay a lot of attention to these areas of the smartphone and they are also the ones that our customers attach the most importance to. We continuously strive to expand the boundaries of technical innovations and our products are the successful proof of this.

What technology trends is Xiaomi following, what new products can be expected for the coming year?

We will continue to pursue our strategy of bringing innovative products with industry-leading technologies to the market in the future. The Mi Air Charge technology, the retractable wide-angle lens technology in smartphones, our initiative for electric vehicles or the smart glasses presented only in September are just a few examples of Xiaomi’s unique innovations that will change not only the market, but above all the lives of all through innovative technologies.

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