It looks like if you are planning to buy a 5G smartphone any time soon then one of the top options to consider will be those offered by Xiaomi.
The Chinese device recently disclosed that all its upcoming budget smartphones will ship to consumers 5G-ready.
During the launch of the Redmi 10X series, dubbed “the world’s cheapest 5G phones”, Xiaomi China’s president Lu Weibing was quoted by local media (translation required) saying that the company’s Redmi sub-brand would be responsible for bringing 5G to the masses through an entirely new series.
The view is informed by the realization that, owing to the high costs associated with integrating 5G components such as chipsets and balancing the same with the expected quality of the existing Redmi devices like those in the K series that it had, before the arrival of the 10X series, used to showcase its idea of “5G for the masses”, prices may not be dropping soon.
However, there exists room for the device maker to capitalize on economies of scale to lower the price of components while, for those that are hard to get to such a level, going for less costly ones. Of course, a compromise has to be arrived at.
How all of this works out is something to watch keenly over the coming months.
With Safaricom testing 5G and expected to open up the testing to more subscribers by the end of the year – assuming the COVID-19 pandemic hasn’t resulted in a change of plans – the reality of 5G in the country is much closer now than it has ever been and Xiaomi may just be the true North many look to for the first of a whole new era of mobile technology.