Chinese smartphone maker Xiaomi will launch two new Android devices in India this month, the Redmi 2 smartphone and the MiPad. As per norm, to purchase these devices users will have to register for the sale post 6pm today, after which the devices will be sold via flash sales from the 24th of March, likely via Flipkart
The Redmi 2 handset is a slight upgrade to the Redmi 1S released by the company last year. It is a few grams lighter, features a 2200mAh battery, Android 4.4.4 and an upgraded Quad-core 1.2 GHz Cortex-A53 processor. The front camera has also received an upgrade from 1.6MP to 2.0MP. The MiPad, on the other hand, is a 7.9 inch tablet, featuring a 1536*2048 pixel screen, a 2.2 Ghz Nvidia Tegra K1 processor, a 6700mAh battery and 2GB of RAM.
Both devices feature expansion slots with the Redmi 2 coming with 8GB onboard storage and the MiPad 16GB. Xiaomi mentions it will also release a 16GB version of its Redmi 2 smartphone which will come with 2GB RAM. At launch, the Redmi 2 will be priced at Rs 6,999 and MiPad at Rs 12,999.
With this launch, Xiaomi has introduced a total of six devices in India. The company had previously launched its high-end Mi4 handset priced at Rs 19,999 in January this year. Interestingly 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. We wonder if the Mi4 will not be offered after this launch anymore.
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 available in India at that time were the Mi3, Redmi 1S and Redmi Note (and Note 4G). Xiaomi’s vice president of international operations Hugo Barra had earlier said that India is Xiaomi’s second largest and the fastest growing market after China.
The company had 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. Barra had confirmed this to Livemint in November last year, and in January, Jain told PTI that the process will take “anywhere 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.
High court order: The company, which had been stopped by the Delhi High Court from importing & selling handsets in India that infringe on Ericsson’s standard essential patents (SEP), is now 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.
Image source: Xiaomi launch event