“India is an important market for us,” announced a rather emotional Hugo Barra at the end of a glitzy, power-packed launch event for Xiaomi’s new Redmi Note 3 in India. The vice-president of International for Xiaomi had by then introduced the new Redmi Note 3 at the Talkatora stadium, full of cheering ‘Mi’ fans dressed in orange and white shirts, and partners including heads of Qualcomm and Hungama. But the event was not over.
“Questions were being raised about us. Some asked if the Mi India story was over. We want to say that the Mi India story is very much alive. Mi India has not lost it’s magic,” said Barra, sitting on the edge of the stage.
As if to reconfirm this commitment, Barra also announced that India will be one of the first markets to get the new, premium Xiaomi Mi 5, which was showcased in Barcelona just last week, and went on sale in China two days ago. “We’re bringing the Mi 5 to India within a month of the China launch,” said the Xiaomi VP reassuring the Mi 5 fans in the audience, and those who were watching the announcement live on their webcast that they had not given up on the Indian market.
On the other hand, Redmi Note 3, which is priced at R9,999 for the 16GB version and R11,999 for the 32GB version, has taken a few months coming to India.
However, the phone is coming here with a different processor and is made at the Visakhapatnam facility of the company. Redmin Note 3 is the third Made in India smartphone from the company. For Xiaomi, India matters simply because it can offer the next level of growth, especially in the smartphone business, unlike China where analysts say growth has all but stagnated.