Xiaomi is working hard to bring its latest smartphones to India, says the company’s India head Manu Jain, although 2016 is unlikely to be the year when the Mi TV gets launched here.
In an exclusive interaction with IndianExpress.com, Jain outlined the company’s outlook for India, saying that bringing more of their latest smartphones to the country was a top priority for them. He added that the company was fully committed to the Make in India program and was looking at new partnerships to boost its presence.
With Xiaomi one of the concerns for India in 2015 was the lack of new phones. Other than the Mi 4i and Mi Band, India only got upgraded versions of earlier phones. Devices like the Mi Note, Mi Note Pro, which were showcased in China, didn’t make it here. But Jain indicated that new phones like Redmi Note 3 and Mi 5 will be made available in India.
“With the new products coming up for Xiaomi, a lot of hard-work has gone in, both from the China teams and India teams. We are working very hard to ensure that the time gap between the two launches is reduced. Of course, some gap is to be expected between given that to launch a new device in India, we need to get certifications, clearances, etc,” said Jain.
In China, Xiaomi is also known for other products as well, such as the Mi Tv, Air Purifier etc. However Jain said that the wait for these is likely to continue for Indian consumers.
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“We bought the Mi Band to India last year, and yes it was immensely popular. Some even said that it was the number one fitness tracker in India. However, for 2016, the primary focus in India will be around phones. there’s a good chance that the TV may not launch here this year,” said Jain. He explained that the company first wants to build up its smartphone business and ecosystem in India, and then move on to expanding its portfolio,
Xiaomi also plans to ramp up its e-commerce operations in India. Last year, the company launched an exclusive Diwali sale on its Mi.com India portal offering products at prices as low as Re 1. The company says that its app saw over 3 million installs during the sales period, while Mi.com got over 1 million visits per day.
Jain said the company had seen strong sales in India both for Q4 and Q3. An earlier Counterpoint report had claimed that Xiaomi’s Q3 sales had plummeted, a number that the company had disputed. “In Q3 we shipped a million phones. In Q4, we shipped more than a million smartphones, I would say somewhere between 1 and 1.5 million devices in India,” said Jain adding that the company was now shipping to over 1500 cities in the country.
Xiaomi’s India boss, however, refused to comment on whether the on-going litigation with Ericsson had slowed down their operations in India.