Hugo Barra, Xiaomi’s Vice President of International, has said in an interview that consumers should not expect any SD card slot in the company’s flagship devices. Of course, Xiaomi has its own reasons on why it is “fundamentally against an SD card slot in its high performance devices.”
Apparently, in order to not sacrifice battery capacity, ergonomics and appearance, Barra said that an SD card slot has to be excluded. In the case of the Xiaomi Mi 4i, he mentioned that his team didn’t want to sacrifice the second micro SIM slot. That being said, it’s worth mentioning that numerous manufacturers have managed to implement a slot that can accommodate either a SIM or a microSD card.
However, Barra has a much more compelling reason on why Xiaomi is against SD cards: they are “incredibly prone to failure and malfunctioning of various different sorts,” he said. Barra further elaborated that it’s only a matter of time before users start complaining that it is the smartphone that is malfunctioning instead of the SD card, which is quite an interesting argument.
In any case, these do not seem to apply to Xiaomi’s affordable smartphones, such as the Redmi 2 and Redmi Note 4G, which have a microSD card slot. Then again, it’s possible that an expandable storage is necessary due to the rather small internal storage of both devices, although many would argue that the Mi 4i’s 16GB of non-expandable storage is too small as well.
Looking forward, Barra believes that SD card is merely a trend and it will “disappear”. Only time will tell if this is indeed the case.