After a short hype building campaign, up and coming Chinese company Xiaomi officially launched in the sprawling Indian market today.
Xiaomi will offer its flagship product, the Mi 3 smartphone, from July 22, with online retailer Flipkart as the exclusive channel. The Xiaomi Mi 3 will cost INR 13,999 (around $230), not INR 14,999, as was initially announced.
Present at the launch event in New Delhi, CEO Bin Lin and chief on international expansion Hugo Barra promised that Xiaomi would bring more of its products to the Indian market. The entry-level Redmi 1S (INR 6,999) will launch sometime in early August, while the affordable phablet Redmi Note (INR 9,999) will become available later next month, according to a tentative schedule shared by Barra.
As part of its effort to establish itself in India, Xiaomi will open 36 service centers in 20 major cities throughout the country, including two that it will operate exclusively in New Delhi and Bangalore. For these two centers, Xiaomi promised turnaround times of as little as two hours.
The star of the launch show, the Mi 3, packs a 5-inch Full HD display, a Snapdragon 800 processor, 2GB of RAM, and a 3,050-mAh battery. The device, which runs MIUI v5, based on an Android 4.4, is in a class of its own when it comes to the quality per price ratio. The device will be available in Flipkart’s store on July 22 at noon, probably in a limited batch that will sell out in minutes, as it usually happens with Xiaomi’s products.
India is the latest large market that Xiaomi is setting shop in, following countries in SE Asia, like Indonesia and the Philippines. In a recent exclusive interview, Hugo Barra told Android Authority that Xiaomi will begin making initial preparations for expanding into North America from next year, though the executive declined to provide a more precise timeline.