The launch of Chinese smartphone vendor Xiaomi’s first smartphones in India will happen sooner than what was expected earlier. BGR India has exclusively learned that Xiaomi will launch its first two smartphones in India sometime between mid-July and early-August, multiple sources have confirmed. Earlier, BGR India had exclusively reported Xiaomi hiring Manu Kumar Jain as the head of its India operations before Xiaomi’s official announcement.
Rather than setting up its own online retail store, Xiaomi has tied up with Flipkart, which will exclusively sell Xiaomi’s products in India. Unlike Flipkart’s deal with Motorola, where it was importing Motorola smartphones on its own in India, Xiaomi India will import the devices and use Flipkart for retailing them, one source with knowledge of the company’s plans told BGR India.
Xiaomi will first launch the Redmi 1S and Mi 3 in India. The Redmi is its entry-level smartphone with a 4.7-inch 720p IPS display, a MediaTek 6589 quad-core processor clocked at 1.5GHz, 1GB of RAM and 4GB of internal storage along with a microSD card slot. It comes with an 8-megapixel rear and 1.3-megapixel front-facing cameras. The Redmi 1S runs on Android 4.2 Jelly Bean with Xiaomi’s MIUI V5 on top.
The Mi 3 is Xiaomi’s flagship smartphone with a 5-inch 1080p IPS display, a 2.3GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 processor, 2GB of RAM and 16GB of internal memory. It comes with 13-megapixel rear camera with dual-flash and a 2-megapixel front-facing camera, both capable of shooting 1080p videos. The Mi 3 also features dual-band Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.0, NFC and Wi-Fi Direct. It has a massive 3,050mAh battery as well.
The Redmi 1S is priced around Rs 8,000 in Singapore while the Mi 3 costs around Rs 15,000. We expect Xiaomi to launch these two phones in India at similar price points Apart from the two smartphones, Xiaomi is also expected to launch its range of accessories including its 10,400mAh battery power bank.
Xiaomi’s pricing strategy seems to be very aggressive but it remains to be seen how it would be able to keep up with demand. Its products are sold out in the handful of countries where it is present at the moment. Xiaomi’s supply chain is already stretched thin and it plans to enter 10 new markets this year. Xiaomi is most likely to launch with limited stocks and there will be a waiting period before stocks get replenished. But this strategy has worked for the company in other markets where people wait for the next shipment to arrive, which gets sold out within minutes. Xiaomi had managed to sell 100,000 units of the Mi 3 in China in less than 90 seconds!
It is already the third largest smartphone brand in China and sixth largest globally and is targeting to sell 100 million smartphones next year. Xiaomi sold 18.7 million smartphones last year, when it was present only in mainland China, Hong Kong and Taiwan.