Chen: Xiaomi and Obi are not competitiors

Chen: Xiaomi and Obi are not competitiors
With its controversial flash sales, Xiaomi has been taking the Asian market by storm. Now in the midst of expanding into India, the manufacturer is shaking things up in that country as well. But that doesn't seem to bother BlackBerry CEO John Chen. Chen says that Xiaomi and Obi, two manufacturers known for their production of high spec'd handsets at a low price, are aiming at the opposite end of the market that BlackBerry is focused on. "We don’t consider (Xiaomi and Obi) as competitors since they play to a lower end market and do not pose a threat across our broad set of capabilities," said Chen. The BlackBerry executive considers his company to be more than just a handset provider as it offers a complete mobile solution with its BES platform.

In India, where the BlackBerry name is still held in high regard, the manufacturer has been undercut on price by both Xiaomi and Obi. But Chen says that his phones are priced to sell. When pressed about pricing, the executive said, "I believe the pricing of our devices is competitive, especially for the higher value that BlackBerry delivers. The BlackBerry Z3, for example, has an attractive price point for the features and benefits it provides." The BlackBerry Z3, the first 'Berry targeted for the emerging markets and produced through a partnership with contract manufacturer Foxconn, is priced at $245 USD to $263 USD. That compares with a price of $231 USD for the higher spec'd Xiaomi Mi3. Obi, founded by former Apple CEO and soft drink whiz John Sculley, has priced its flagship Octopus S520 at $198 USD. 

BlackBerry has cut pricing on a slew of devices in India, such as the BlackBerry Z30, BlackBerry Z10, BlackBerry Q5, BlackBerry Curve 9320 and BlackBerry 9720. Despite the cuts, BlackBerry is not one of the top five smartphone manufacturers in India, according to IDC. That list is led by Samsung (29%), Micromax (18%), Karbonn (8%), Lava (6 %) and Motorola (5%).

In developed countries, where the smartphone markets are driven by specs, not price, Chen has a high-end model close to launching. The BlackBerry Passport is the flagship handset 'Berry fans have been asking for. The Passport features a 4.5 inch 1440 x 1440 resolution screen, packs the Snapdragon 800 processor, 3GB of RAM and a 3450mAh battery. The secret sauce is a quirky QWERTY keyboard with contextually based virtual keys, to go along with the physical keyboard. The latter also doubles as a touch pad.

source: BGR

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11 Comments

1. iamamrith

Posts: 4; Member since: Jun 25, 2014

"We don't consider them as a threat" Go home Chen, you're drunk.

2. Anterv

Posts: 178; Member since: Jul 09, 2014

Xiaomi and Obi aren't competitiors because they can't launch their products in whole world. Everything else what CEO says is marketing.

3. xperiaDROID

Posts: 5629; Member since: Mar 08, 2013

I don't know about Obi but Xiaomi is world's fifth smartphone vendor, while BlackBerry is at the deep bottom. Xiaomi's phones offer high end on a low price, BlackBerry does not. But I gotta say that the BlackBerry Z3 is a good mid-range phone but still not tough enough to fight with the Xiaomi Redmi series. Also, you're only targeting the business users and BB lovers. What about us normal consumers? The BlackBerry Passport is a unique and beautiful phone, but not all people like phones with QWERTY keyboards. At least make a full touch screen flagship, so it can at least attract users from other platforms to give your phone and BB10 a try.

4. Guti986

Posts: 78; Member since: Dec 26, 2013

They have beautifully sleek all touch devices.

9. meanestgenius

Posts: 22504; Member since: May 28, 2014

BlackBerry has had an all-touch flagship out since 2013. The BlackBerry Z30, and it's a phenomenal smartphone.

5. yash3339

Posts: 2; Member since: Sep 09, 2014

Sure, just like how Micromax CEO says he doesn't know about Xiaomi.

6. HugoBarraCyanogenmod

Posts: 1412; Member since: Jul 06, 2014

I have yet to see grandma queuing for the BlackBerry, nor Forbes CEO queue for the XiaoMi, both tackle different segment so it doesn't poses the threat..... YET

7. joey_sfb

Posts: 6794; Member since: Mar 29, 2012

I think very little of Xiaomi until I use their product. Basically cheap and very good.

8. meanestgenius

Posts: 22504; Member since: May 28, 2014

Xiaomi and Obi aren't competitors as they and BlackBerry both play to two entirely different markets. Anyone with half a brain knows this. I think this is a another attempt at a "click-bait" article by Alan F. This is how flame-wars get started, and then the PA mods will come in and delete all comments and "limit" individuals when it is PA themselves that will be causing the whole mess in the first place.

10. jbishops

Posts: 62; Member since: Aug 12, 2014

First of all BlackBerry does not have any competition because they are at the complete bottom of the basement in the mobile market and will never get out. Plus these other no name companies will overtake BlackBerry. The only two players in the market now and in the future are Android and I hate to say yes Apple. Blackberry is done and not followed or needed anymore

11. meanestgenius

Posts: 22504; Member since: May 28, 2014

You troll hard, Apiskula. ...and yes, we all know it's you, Apiskula. You're not fooling anyone and we don't take your trolling nonsense and non-factual rhetoric seriously.

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