Yesterday BGR India reported about Xiaomi’s upcoming India launch and now Hugo Barra, the Chinese smartphone vendor’s vice president of international operations has shed some more light on the impending launch. In an interview with CNet, Barra confirmed that the company is currently planning its India launch. Xiaomi will set up an office in India for its local operations. Also Read - Xiaomi Mi Mix 4 could launch as a high-end phone with tons of exiting featuresAlso Read - Xiaomi confirms Mi 11 Lite colour variants in India: Here are the options available
According to Barra, the company is working on creating relationships with carriers and other partners. BGR India had earlier reported that Xiaomi was in talks with content providers in India and was also in talks with game developers. Barra also confirmed that Xiaomi would retail the smartphones through its own online retail portal. Earlier, Motorola set the trend of online-exclusive retail model with the launch of the Moto G exclusively on Flipkart. That model has proven successful, though it remains to be seen whether users will be equally excited about Xiaomi, which is currently only popular and known brand in the tech savvy section of users, unlike Motorola that still had brand value despite not being active in India for almost two years. Also Read - Best wearable gift ideas under Rs 5,000 for Father's Day 2021
Barra insists that it won’t start with the lowest end of the smartphone segment in India, hinting at launching its flagship MI3 that features a Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 SoC, a 5-inch 1080p display and a 13-megapixel camera. Xiaomi’s online only retail model would help to keep the costs low and ensure it is aggressive in the market.
Xiaomi would be the third big brand out of China to enter the Indian market after Gionee and Oppo. While Gionee has been able to make a mark for itself by offering smartphones with high-end specifications at aggressive price points, Oppo so far has been on the expensive side. With the entry of Xiaomi, competition would heat up for local Indian players like Micromax, Karbonn and Lava, which make the second, third and fourth largest smartphone vendors. Though Xiaomi is unlikely to make a huge impact on their shipment numbers, owing to a lack of scale and an online-only retail model, it would be a wake up call for local players to focus on quality rather than giving good hardware specifications on paper.
Xiaomi had sold 7.2 million smartphones in 2012, 18.7 million in 2013 and is eyeing to sell 40 million smartphones this year.