Skip to main content

The Mi 11 Ultra is Xiaomi's latest fumble on a flagship launch

Xiaomi's latest flagship does not have a release date six weeks after its global launch.

The Mi 11 Ultra is possibly one of the best Android phones you can buy right now. Xiaomi has nailed the basics here, delivering the latest hardware innovations combined with a 120Hz AMOLED panel, cleaner software and less bloat than previous generations, and truly incredible cameras.

There's only one problem: you can't actually buy the phone. The Mi 11 Ultra made its debut in China earlier in the year and was announced for global markets a few months ago, but as of June 4, it isn't available anywhere. Instead, Xiaomi's UK, Germany, Spain, and other European sites have a Notify Me button, and there's no way to get your hands on the flagship even if you're willing to shell out the equivalent of $1,500 that Xiaomi commands for the device.

Technically, Xiaomi did release the phone in the UK on May 6 — it immediately sold out — and it is entirely likely there were minimal units available for the "launch." It's a similar situation in India, Xiaomi's largest market outside of China. Xiaomi had a splashy virtual event on April 23 where it announced the Mi 11 Ultra and a 75-inch QLED TV in the country, and while the latter has been on sale for a few weeks now, there's no mention of when the Mi 11 Ultra will be available.

Xiaomi instead took to social media to say that due to "circumstances beyond its control," it's delaying the launch of the Mi 11 Ultra:

Xiaomi's statement doesn't really clarify what caused the delay and when the Mi 11 Ultra is likely to go on sale in the country. Unfortunately, this is now becoming a pattern for Xiaomi. The brand has struggled with the availability of its flagships — usually at launch — and that trend hasn't changed with the Mi 11 series. The Mi 11 also took its time to go on sale in global markets, and we see the same thing with the Mi 11 Ultra.

Xiaomi needs to sort out availability issues if it wants to be seen as a serious player in the high-end segment.

The Mi 11 Ultra is particularly great value in India, where it is set to retail for just ₹69,999 ($960), a full 36% less than what it costs in Germany and other western markets. And although its Chinese rival, OnePlus, resorted to limiting 5G bands on the OnePlus 9 Pro to launch the device at ₹69,999 ($960), Xiaomi did not do so. As a result, the Mi 11 Ultra variant in India has the same set of 5G bands as other markets, and that should be welcome news for anyone looking to pick up the phone and then use it for international travel (once it's safe to do so again, of course).

To find out just what's going on with the Mi 11 Ultra in India, I talked to IDC India research director Navkendar Singh. Xiaomi has reaffirmed its commitment to releasing flagships in India last year with the Mi 10 series, and while the brand is staying true to its word, Singh notes that the high-end segment — phones that cost over ₹50,000 ($700) — account for less than 3% of the overall market.

To make matters worse, Singh said that the high-end category is effectively a "duopoly of Apple and Samsung," which explains why brands like Xiaomi and OnePlus are willing to undercut their profit margins substantially to gain some ground in the country. As for the Mi 11 Ultra, in particular, Singh said that regulatory hurdles were to blame for the delay in India and that it hurt the likes of Apple as well as Xiaomi:

Xiaomi's inability to launch Mi 11 Ultra is primarily because it's imported from China, so not assembled or made in India. And with some delays from the government on approvals for Wi-Fi-enabled devices, the challenge is across the premium segment (some iPhones, iPads, laptops, etc.) and not isolated to Xiaomi.

For some context, most Xiaomi phones sold in India are made locally, but select flagships and ecosystem products — like its water purifier and vacuum cleaner — are made in China. Of course, delays are unavoidable, particularly in these turbulent times, but where Xiaomi has failed repeatedly is communicating that to its userbase.

This isn't an issue that's limited to India either; Xiaomi always does a great job hyping up its products, but it falls short when it's time to make them available for purchase. With the brand now making inroads into western markets, it needs to change its tactics to be seen as a serious contender to Apple and Samsung.

In the meantime, if you don't want to wait for the Mi 11 Ultra to go on sale, there's always the Galaxy S21 Ultra or OnePlus 9 Pro.

The reliable choice

Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra

$1,000 at Amazon
£1,190 at Amazon UK

The flagship that has it all

The Galaxy S21 Ultra continues to be one of the best phones of 2021. You're getting the latest internal hardware, gorgeous industrial design, sublime 120Hz QHD+ panel, global 5G connectivity, standout cameras, and three years of platform updates.


Source: androidcentral

Popular posts from this blog

6 things Apple stole from Android at WWDC— and one that Google should steal

Every year, Apple and Google trade ideas for their newest versions of iOS and Android, respectively. But this year, during Apple's WWDC 2021, it seems like Apple purloined more than a few ideas that Google's integrated into Android over the last few years. Millions of iOS users won't get their hands on iOS 15 and iPadOS 15 until later this year, so until then, we don't know until then how the new features will fare in the real world. For now, here's a tongue-in-cheek look at six features Apple, um, borrowed from Android with its latest software releases. Jump to: iPad widgets and app drawer Live Text Apple Maps AR navigation iOS notifications New Siri capabilities Apple Photos Bonus: What Google needs to steal iPad widgets and app drawer iPad OS 15 introduced two big new updates for the iPad home screen today: widgets and the App Library. If you think this sounds awfully familiar, there's a good reason for that. 2020's iOS 14 introduced both

How to watch England vs New Zealand: Live stream 2nd Test series cricket on

With the first Test ending in a draw, the series is on a knife edge at Edgbaston, as Joe Root's side look to put off the field controversies to one side and claim a much needed win against the Kiwis. Don't miss a single ball of the 2nd Test with our England vs New Zealand live stream guide below. The series has been somewhat overshadowed by the emergence of offensive historic tweets posted by Ollie Robinson who made his debut in the opening Test but has since been suspended. With the controversy still brewing amid interventions from politicians and accusations leveled at other members of the team, Root has a battle on his hands to keep his side focused on the game ahead. One positive for Root coming into the game is that they'll be playing in front of a near capacity crowd at Egbaston, with the overwhelming majority of the expected 18,000 spectators set to be cheering on the home side. The tourists have been delivered a huge blow coming intot his final match, with s

Best Roku Stick deals May 2021: $30 off Roku Ultra, Streambar and more

Transforming nearly any TV into a smart TV is affordable and easy with a Roku streaming stick. These tiny devices plug into your TV's HDMI port to unlock access to a world of streaming services, live TV channels, and other apps that will never leave you without entertainment. While prices are rather comparable to its main competition, the Amazon Fire TV Stick , Roku's devices have a few interesting features you won't find on a Fire stick. Roku Ultra - HD/4K/HDR/Dolby Vision with Dolby Atmos | $31 off at Amazon The Roku Ultra is the fastest, most powerful Roku streaming device so far, and it's even compatible with Dolby Vision and Dolby Atmos for a more cinematic experience. It has a better wireless range than other models as well. Today's deal saves you over $30 off its regular price. $69 at Amazon Once you've plugged in your new Roku streaming device, you can download the Roku app and use it as a remote or even plug headphones into your phone and listen to

EU calls out Google, Amazon, & Apple for 'unfair competition' in IoT market

The report blames the lack of interoperability in the consumer IoT sector on the prevalence of proprietary technology and lack of common standards. What you need to know The European Commission has published the preliminary results of its inquiry into the consumer Internet of Things (IoT) sector. The report has identified a few potential concerns, including prevalence of proprietary technology and accumulation of large amounts of data by "providers of smart device operating systems." The European Commission is expected to publish its final report in the first half of 2022. The European Commission today shared the initial findings of its consumer Internet of Things (IoT) sector inquiry. The inquiry was launched in July last year as part of its digital strategy. Along with confirming the rapid growth of the Internet of Things market, the report highlights a few potential concerns with regards to the "current functioning of consumer IoT markets, as well as to th