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Xiaomi launches Mi4 in India; First sale on Feb 10

Xiaomi Mi4

Chinese smartphone maker Xiaomi has launched its fourth handset in India, Xiaomi Mi4. The phone is priced at Rs 19,999 and will feature Xiaomi’s upgraded MIUI6 user interface.

The first flash sale on Flipkart will be held on February 10 at 2pm, for which registrations began at 6pm yesterday. Note that initially the 3G 16 GB version of Mi4 will go on sale in India. It’s not clear if and when the 4G version will be made available in the country. The phone sports a Snapdragon 801 2.5 GHz processor, 3GB RAM, 5″ IPS Full HD display, 13 megapixle f1.8 rear camera, 8 megapixle front camera and a 3080 mAh battery.

 

In December last year, Xiaomi’s India head Manu Kumar Jain had claimed that they had sold one million handsets in India since its launch in July. The three handsets that were available in India at the time were the Mi3, Redmi 1S and Redmi Note (and Note 4G). Xiaomi’s vice president of international operations Hugo Barra had also earlier said that India is Xiaomi’s second largest market after China and also the fastest market.

Xiaomi has adopted a single device strategy in India to address high consumer demand. It focuses on one device at a time and discontinues the sales of previous handsets. It had stopped selling Mi3 when Redmi 1S was launched and stopped Redmi 1S sales to focus on Redmi Note. The company had even revealed plans to start making its smartphones in India, as it continued to struggle to match consumer demand. At the time, Barra had told Bloomberg that production in India will likely begin in a year or two.

It’s worth noting that Xiaomi is working towards launching its own e-commerce store in India as well. Barra had confirmed this to Livemint in November last year, and earlier this week Jain told PTI that the process will take “änywhere between three to nine months.” The company is currently on the lookout for warehousing and logistics partners in India and finalizing payment mechanisms including cash on delivery. Xiaomi will also be setting up a R&D facility in Bangalore this year.

Xiaomi, which had been stopped by the Delhi High Court from importing & selling handsets in India that infringe on Ericsson’s standard essential patents (SEP), has now been allowed to sell Qualcomm-based handsets.

Xiaomi had raised $1.1 billion from a series of investors including DST Global, Singapore’s GIC, Jack Ma’s Yunfeng Capital, Hopu Fund, and All-Stars Investment among others at a valuation of $45 billion, at the end of December last year.

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