Chinese smartphone manufacturer Xiaomi that had set up its India website last week, will sell its devices here exclusively through Flipkart, reports BGR India citing sources. We have written to Flipkart seeking clarification and will update the report when we hear back from them.
Xiaomi will import the device to India and Flipkart will get exclusive rights to sell the device according to the report, unlike Motorola devices that were imported by Flipkart. It is not clear if Xiaomi will directly sell the devices on Flipkart’s marketplace or if they will be sold by WS-Retail. The company had hired co-founder of Jabong Manu Kumar Jain, to head its operations in India, earlier this month.
According to BGR, the company will start its India operations by selling the cheaper Redmi and its flagship Mi3 phones. It also goes on to state that Redmi will be sold at Rs 10,000 and that Mi3 will be priced in the Rs 15,000-20,000 range. Even with such an aggressive pricing, the success of these devices depends on how good Google’s upcoming Android One devices will be. These devices will be manufactured by Indian companies Micromax, Karbonn and Spice and will cost less than $100.
Xiaomi’s devices are available in India unofficially on e-commerce websites like eBay, with Mi3 costing a little under Rs 25,000 and RedMi priced at a little under Rs 13,000.
Apart from Indain companies that already have devices in this range, Xiaomi will also be competing against Motorola, which sells Moto G and Moto E. Other OEMs like Samsung and Sony also have devices in this price range, but they will be forced to offer better devices in this range going forward.
Former Google VP and Xiaomi CEO Hugo Barra had said earlier this year that the company will start its services in India after launching in Malaysia, Indonesia, Philippines and Thailand. It’s worth noting that the company has set up similar websites for Malaysia and Philippines, but it hasn’t started selling its devices in either of these markets from the looks of it. Barra had visited India in March this year and around the same time the company had made a post on its forum asking for volunteers to help translate its MIUI ROM into Hindi.
As of now Samsung is the biggest smartphone player in India in terms of shipments with 43.2% marketshare, followed by Micromax with 17.5% and Karbonn with 5.2%. In the first quarter of 2014, around 14.5 million smartphones were shipped in India, registering a 219.4% growth year-on-year (YoY) and a 1.9% growth from the previous quarter.