Smartphone maker Xiaomi on Friday announced that it is spinning off POCO as a standalone brand. With this restructuring, POCO will run independently of Xiaomi with its own team and go-to-market strategy, the company said in a statement.
POCO started as a sub-brand of Xiaomi in 2018 with a small team. Since then, the company launched only one phone, POCO F1 in the price category of Rs 15,000 to Rs 20,000. In July last year, Xiaomi faced backlash by its fans over the price of its K2 series smartphones, for having prices above Rs 20,000. It cant be said that the spinning of POCO as a separate company, is a strategy to keep the 'affordable' tag on Xioami.
Commenting on the company structure, Manu Jain, Vice President and Managing Director, Xiaomi India said,
“What started as a sub-brand in POCO, has grown into its own identity in a short span of time. POCO F1 is an extremely popular phone across user groups and remains a top contender in its category even in 2020. We feel the time is right to let POCO operate on its own now, which is why we’re excited to announce that POCO will spin-off as an independent brand.”
It is worth noting that, the former Google Executive, Jai Mani, left Xiaomi in July last year, along with other core members under the sub-brand. Jai was the Lead Product Manager for POCO and was reportedly instrumental in launching the brand. While POCO is now an independent company, it is unclear how it would be structured.
Xiaomi has the largest smartphone shipments in India. As per the IDC data for Q3 2019 (July-September), Xiaomi India had 27.3 percent share in shipments volume, followed by Samsung (22.6 percent), Vivo (10.5 percent), Realme (3.1 percent), and Oppo (6.7 percent).
(Edited by Suman Singh)