" Xiaomi Global vice president Hugo Barra also announced that the extremely popular Mi Band…
Chinese smartphone maker Xiaomi held the global launch of its latest Mi phone in the national capital on Thursday. India is seen as the company’s largest overseas market and a key testing ground for its international expansion.
“India is already our company’s second largest market in the world and we really want to make significant investment here. We want to build products that are made and designed for India and that is exactly what we just did today by launching our flagship product that is made an designed for India specifically,” said Hugo Barra, Vice President of Xiaomi, International Operations.
“We firmly intend to bring manufacturing our products here to India.
We have been making progress. We are meeting number of people and there is some planning in this regard. It is a bit early and it is still little bit far out but it is certainly our plan and it will happen,” he added.
Over 1500 Mi India fans occupied the Siri fort auditorium in New Delhi to witness the global launch and Xiaomi founder and CEO Lei Jun was also present at the event to thank Mi India fans for their support.
“It’s quite impressive because in India people talk about iphone and HTC but it is very much better than that. In this price it’s amazing,” said Sara Sharma, Xiaomi fan.
“Very good, very impressive and very good phone from Mi, this launch is very good,” said Ashish Naulakhha, Xiaomi fan.
Xiaomi Technology is ranked third globally and is valued at $45 billion after a December funding round. This was the company’s first global launch outside of China in New Delhi, unveiling its feature-heavy Mi 4i model that supports six Indian languages at 12,999 rupees.
India is the world’s third-largest smartphone market with 900 million mobile phone users, but with just one in 10 people using such handsets, still has an enormous growth potential.
Chinese smartphone makers are in many cases unknown outside India’s larger cities, but they are beginning to win market share from better known rivals such as Samsung Electronics and even home-grown Micromax, which recently became the country’s leading handset supplier.
For Xiaomi, the research and development on the processor used in the Mi 4i was led by a team in tech hub Bengaluru. The company could also make the phone locally once it sets up a manufacturing presence in India.
Xiaomi, a five-year-old company known as China’s Apple, entered India in July last year through a tie-up with online retailer Flipkart. It later partnered a leading electronics retail chain with a pan-India presence to boost its sales.
Gionee, which was among the first Chinese device makers to enter India, has 1,200 employees working on R&D and expects to set up a manufacturing base in India.