There were reports that the company might launch its phones in India next after former Google VP and Xiaomi CEO Hugo Barra visited the country. However, while speaking at an event in China, Barra said the company wants to pull a significant portion of Southeast Asia under its belt as a platform before jumping into India.
In India, the company will set up an office and partner with telcos to sell its devices. Barra had said that it will also sell its devices here through its website. The company makes most of its money from its online ecosystem, which according to Barra, allows Xiaomi to maintain its strategy of selling its smartphones at a price that is almost close to cost. However he says that the company is not targeting low end of the market when its products are released in India.
In August last year, Xiaomi was already China’s third-largest e-commerce company, with more than $3.2 million in revenue per month. The company expects revenue to reach $21 million-$24 million per month this year. The company’s co-founder Lei Jun had said earlier this year than the company intends to sell 40 million devices this year. Xiaomi had announced annual sales of $4.5 billion for 2013 and is valued at over $10 billion. The company had sold 18.7 million smartphones in 2013, up 160% year-on-year and above its initial target of 15 million devices. In December alone, the company sold 3.23 million smartphones.
In India, the company will compete against devices by Micromax, Karbonn and Lava in the low end; Motorola, Lenovo, Gionee and Nokia in the mid-range and against Samsung, Sony, LG and Apple in the high-end. In terms of shipments, Samsung is the biggest player in India with 32.9% marketshare, followed by Micromax with 17% and Karbonn with 11%.