xiaomi

Chinese smartphone manufacturer Xiaomi has officially entered India by launching three of its smartphones – its flagship Mi3 smartphone, Redmi Note and Redmi 1s.

While Mi3 will go on sale from July 22, RedMi Note and RedMi 1s will be available “shortly”. What’s really interesting here is the aggressive pricing by Xiaomi. Redmi Note has been priced at Rs 9,999 while Redmi 1s will be available for Rs 6,999. The company has also reduced the price of Mi3 to Rs 13,999, from the earlier announced Rs 14,999.

Xiaomi Mi3

However, note that only the 16GB version of Mi3 is currently available and there is currently no information on whether the company plans to roll out other variants in the country.

The company has exclusively partnered with Flipkart for selling these devices. However, we are not quite sure how long the partnership is exclusive, since Xiaomi co-founder Bin Lin has apparently told at the launch event that they are open to partnering more companies which can sell and service its phones.

Pre-registration

Quite similar to how Xiaomi sells devices in China and other markets, consumers can register themselves for the next sale day at Flipkart’s dedicated Mi store and only registered users will get a chance to buy the device on the sale day.

Xiaomi adopts this approach to better manage the handset demand and traffic, considering it sells handsets in batches and each batch has a limited number of handsets. For context, Xiaomi sold 5,000 units of Redmi Note in Singapore in just 42 seconds last week. (Also readXiaomi Founder Lei Jun On How MIUI Addresses Key Android Issues)

Apart from this, Xiaomi is also launching accessories like Mi PowerBank, Mi In-ear headphones, screen protectors, flip cases among others shortly. During the launch event, the company mentioned that it is also working on bringing its Android tablet MiPad and Android TV Mi TV to India.

Service Centres: One of the biggest challenges that Xiaomi will probably face is the after-service, since it doesn’t have any retail presence. Motorola is still struggling with this in India right now.

Xiaomi global vice president Hugo Barra has mentioned that it will have 36 service centers across 20 prominent cities which will be operational from Monday to Saturday (download full list of service centers here). It has also setup two exclusive service centers – one in Bangalore (where Xiaomi India is based) and one in Delhi. Barra claimed that both the centers will have a 2 hour turn around time. Last month, Jabong co-founder Manu Kumar Jain had also joined Xiaomi as its India GM.

In India, Xiaomi will be competing with Motorola which somewhat changed the game for handset makers in India, by aggressively pricing Moto G and Moto E. This led to competing OEMs like Micromax, Lava and Karbonn launch similar low-cost offerings over the past few months. Another change is expected when Micromax, Spice and Karbonn launches its Android one smartphones later this year.