Android TV: Xiaomi Mi Box Packaging Has Led To Price Debate

If you are part of any Android TV forum, community or otherwise, then there is a good chance that the above image has passed through your feeds at some point during the last week. The Xiaomi Mi Box will be the latest Android TV device to arrive on the market and is one which is fairly highly anticipated. Not just because Xiaomi tends to bring fairly good quality products to market, but also because they tend to bring fairly competitively-priced products to market. So in spite of Xiaomi not yet providing any firm indications on what the likely price of the Xiaomi Mi Box will be, the assumption most are making is that this will be a competitively-priced product. In truth, it needs to be.

Enter the image above. This is an image which seems to have been leaked by reddit user koshergoy and is said to be of the actual retail packaging for the Xiaomi Mi Box. While that in itself is fine and this does look as though it is the packaging the Mi Box, what has caused quite the debate on social media is the fact that the packaging clearly seems to indicate that the price of the Mi Box will be $76. Which if correct, would not only make the Mi Box a seriously well-priced item, but would almost instantly guarantee its cemented position in the market. This would make the Mi Box a 4K and HDR-supported Android TV streaming box, which comes loaded with 2GB RAM, 8GB internal storage and powered by a quad-core ARM Cortex-A53 processor with a Mali 450 GPU and priced at about $100 cheaper than the baseline version of the NVIDIA SHIELD. An actual viable competitor for the sub-$100 market.

However, the $76 price tag does seem unlikely to be the case. As many of those who have encountered the image on social media have already pointed out, this seems to be just a case of misleading advertising with the $76 seeming to refer to the value of the "coupons included" in the box. Which in itself is something worth mentioning. Providing you do actually net $76 worth of free (and good) content from the coupons just for picking up the Xiaomi Mi Box, then this will make the Mi Box a worthwhile purchase. Take the extreme example for instance. Many do believe the Xiaomi Mi Box should be priced at $100. That seems to be the price it needs to be to make a real and sudden impact on the market. If that is the case and we assume the very best case scenario is that Xiaomi and Google are included $76 worth of Google Play credit in with the purchase, then $100 for a brand new 4K Android TV box with $76 worth of Google Play credit is a fantastic purchase. It almost does make the cost of the box under $25 as the Google Play credit is largely needed to make the most of an Android TV box.

Although, that would be the very best case example. It is far more likely that the value of the coupons included is not anywhere near as valuable as straight GP credit. Instead, they are more likely going to be coupons which offer discounts on additional products from Xiaomi or accessories, with maybe a small amount of GP-related discounts/credits included. More to the point though, this does at least further highlight that Xiaomi will be positioning this as a price-conscious product, with the lure of coupons being an additional added value. Which hopefully also does means that the actual cost of the unit will be driven by the same motives. Regardless of how useful or valuable those $76 coupons will be, if Xiaomi stays under that $100 price point, this could be a nice addition to the Android TV family.

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