Xiaomi is ramping up its presence in India after a relatively quiet 2015, with plans to open two factories and release more products. It’s even following in Apple’s footsteps by attempting to start its own chain of single-brand retail stores in the nation.
The focus on India comes at a time when the smartphone market here is expanding, unlike China where the segment is set to go flat or decline. This comes from Xiaomi President Bin Lin who expects the country to sell 140 million devices in 2016, an improvement over last year’s 100 million in 2015.
He also predicts that India’s market growth will mirror China’s. The current atmosphere of intense competition in the former will eventually become unsustainable, after which only a few will stand tall. Xiaomi plans to be among them. It’s going to do so by increasing its local presence and diversifying its product portfolio to newer categories in 2016.
Xiaomi is planning to expand its partnership with Foxconn by opening 2 more manufacturing plants in India. Lin told the Economic Times that the Mi 5 will not be produced locally for now, but did verify that it’ll sell for around Rs 20000 to Rs 27000 in the nation and come out in April. Other than the flagship offering, the company will also launch 2 more devices this year.
Indian customers can further look forward to special curated content in their Xiaomi phones. The brand is currently investing in local startups and is in talks with companies to create content which will start appearing in its devices later this year. A company spokesperson has also confirmed that the firm has applied for a single-brand retail license in order to open wholly-owned stores in the nation.
Xiaomi has so far depended on a mix of online and offline third-party retailers to peddle its wares in India. Opening its own outlets will probably lead the way in raising brand awareness among the populace. It’s already started off 2016 on a positive note, selling 30000 units of the newly arrived Redmi Note 3 within 2 seconds.