Xiaomi launches in India, as new global flagship expected

Xiaomi launches in India, as new global flagship expected

15 JUL 2014

Fast-growing device maker Xiaomi launched its first products in the Indian market, as anticipation for a new smartphone launch scheduled for next week started to build.

The company is expected to unveil its Mi 4 flagship on Tuesday (22 July), which will see the vendor move to a metal body rather than polycarbonate – indicating its aspirations as a premium device player.

Other Mi 4 speculation suggests it will feature a 5-inch screen, be powered by a quadcore Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 processor, with 3GB of RAM and 16GB of ROM.

Cameras will be 13MP (main) and 5MP (front-facing).

Pricing has been suggested at CNY1,999 ($322) – the same price point as Mi 3 at its launch.

Xiaomi will begin sales of its first device in India next week (Mi 3), but preregistration is already open for buyers. It is priced at IRS13,999 ($233).

Its India website also lists the Xiaomi Redmi 1S smartphone (IRS6,999) and the Redmi Note phablet (IRS9,999), although availability times for these have not been confirmed (they are listed as “coming soon”).

As previously reported, the company has partnered with Indian e-commerce company Flipkart, and will offer full-time telephone and webchat support to buyers.

According to reports, the company is also setting up 36 service centres in India, with two exclusive Mi centres in Delhi and Bangalore.

Earlier this year, IDC tagged India as the “highest growing [smartphone] market in Asia Pacific”, as customers migrated to smartphones from feature phones.

But Xiaomi will not have it easy: in addition to international rivals such as Samsung and Nokia, it will also face competition from a raft of local vendors including Micromax, Karbonn and Lava.

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Steve Costello

Steve works across all of Mobile World Live’s channels and played a lead role in the launch and ongoing success of our apps and devices services. He has been a journalist...More

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