Poco becomes India’s third largest online smartphone brand; Poco F2, Poco Pop Buds still on the cards—Poco laptop not so much
Poco is cruising. The Xiaomi spin-off that became an ‘independent’ brand in India in February 2020, has become the third largest online smartphone player, according to data released by research firm Counterpoint. Poco beat way more ‘established’ brands OnePlus and Realme to enter the top three list on the back of value budget phones like the Poco M2 and Poco C3. As per Counterpoint India Smartphone Monthly Model Tracker 2020, two out of the top three devices sold online (in November) were Poco devices.
Poco started its journey as a Xiaomi spin-off in 2018 with the almost cult fan favourite Poco F1. Its second phone, Poco X2 came after an almost two-year long hiatus—and only after becoming an independent brand. The achievement is particularly impressive since Poco—still—projects itself largely as an ‘enthusiast’ brand and maintains a relatively lean portfolio—though 2020 saw the brand launching as many as five diverse phones across varying price points.
Also Read Poco mojo: Understanding the Xiaomi spin-off brand, its product choices, and future goals including monetization prospects
Going forward into 2021, the brand says it will continue to build on the same focus. “We don’t want to have a large portfolio and we certainly don’t want to bite anything we can’t chew,” Poco India country director, Anuj Sharma tells Financial Express Online on the side-lines of the announcement.
Small team, big achievement! POCO is now the #3 smartphone brand online.
Wait! There’s more.
2 out of the top 3 phones sold online were #POCO phones.
Your trust, support and feedback helped us achieve this. More to come ????
— POCO India (@IndiaPOCO) January 11, 2021
So, fans and enthusiasts should expect a lean portfolio, with Poco trying to expand on smartphones across “C, M, X and hopefully the F-series.” Like rivals—including Xiaomi—Poco “won’t do two launches in a month.”
“We will focus on getting great devices with clean software and high Customer Satisfaction Score (CSAT).”
And it will continue to take customer feedback seriously. Anuj narrates the instance of the brand rolling out a fix recently for the Poco X3’s back panel vibration issue while using the phone on speaker mode. “We learnt a lot last year, built base, and this year we will be looking to maybe take better strides.”
Which is why, the brand is also very hopeful about the upcoming budget. “We couldn’t have launched the Poco F1 at Rs 21,000 today,” Anuj says, citing increased component pricing and taxes. “Hopefully, things get a little better soon. Last year was a double whammy where entire country was in lockdown, and costs (components et al) was also going up,” Anuj adds.
Quashing all ongoing rumours about a Poco ‘laptop,’ Anuj says the brand has no such plans, at least in the immediate future. The brand’s first TWS earbuds, aka Poco Pop Buds are still not meeting its expectations and a Poco F2 is most certainly on the cards—though there is still no word about a launch window.