First they mock you, then they follow you.
Xiaomi just pulled an Apple, or at least it’s going to, come December 28, the day it announces its next top-tier flagship Mi 11 phone with Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 inside. The phone in question will come with a brand-new sleek retail packaging without a charging adapter in a bid to protect the environment. While all that is nice and good, remember, Xiaomi is the same company that took potshots at Apple for removing in-box accessories with the iPhone 12, for very similar reasons.
Xiaomi co-founder and CEO Lei Jun has taken to Chinese social media website Weibo to make the ‘startling’ revelation. It isn’t immediately clear if Xiaomi will bundle a cable with the Mi 11 at this point of time.
There’s also another angle to it, if one were to observe carefully. Over the last few iterations, Xiaomi has been aggressively ramping up on its fast charging efforts and while doing so, it has also added a compliant charger in the box ‘free’ of cost. There is no way that all this would not have been adding to the overall cost and Xiaomi somehow not passing that on to end-users was commendable to say the least. Xiaomi’s fast wired and wireless chargers also happen to be one the most affordable—accessible—in the market.
To be fair, Xiaomi’s move to protect the environment makes more sense. There are well in fact a lot more Android phone chargers in the wild, including fast charging PD ones, to justify it, as opposed to an iPhone charger with USB-C (all new iPhones ship with a USB-C to Lightning cable). So while you’re most likely going to have to buy a charger separately for your new iPhone today, that may not be the case with a phone like the Mi 11—though you’re still probably going to need a proprietary charger to make use of Xiaomi’s fast charging tech.
The world of tech is ripe with instances of brands mocking rivals, but this may be the fastest a brand has taken a U-turn on how it feels about a certain product decision. In fact, if you were to go to Xiaomi’s global Twitter handle right now, you’d still find a tweet the company had posted just hours after Apple’s announcement. “Don’t worry, we didn’t leave anything out of the box with the #Mi10TPro,” is what Xiaomi had said, only to switch gears within two months and remove the charger from its very next flagship.
— Xiaomi (@Xiaomi) October 14, 2020
Ironically, Xiaomi is not the only brand following a trend Apple started recently. The upcoming Samsung Galaxy S21 is also likely to follow suit. Wonder what OnePlus has in store with the OnePlus 9.