Xiaomi to limit number of flagship launches to one per year: Donovan Sung

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Published: February 16, 2017 4:08:09 AM

Chinese handset maker Xiaomi has indicated that while it is keen on adding more ecosystem products to the Indian market, the number of flagship smartphones launched here will be limited to one per year, at least for 2017.

xiaomi-reuXiaomi’s Mi TV remains an awaited device in India, but so far the company has not confirmed if and when it will bring them to this market. (Reuters)

Chinese handset maker Xiaomi has indicated that while it is keen on adding more ecosystem products to the Indian market, the number of flagship smartphones launched here will be limited to one per year, at least for 2017.

“For now, we are focussing on the Redmi Note 4 and we will have an upgrade to the Redmi series pretty soon,” Donovan Sung, Xiaomi’s global director of product management, Xiaomi said. Redmi Note 4 was launched in India late last month at a starting price of R9999.

On flagship devices like Xiaomi Mi 5s and Mi Note 2, he indicated that India will get only one flagship for the year. “We think carefully about what products to bring to India, and when it comes to flagship products our current thought is that we are still a pretty small team in India, given the scale of operations. We will launch one flagship in India per year, and are looking very carefully at what that flagship will be for 2017,” said Sung.

Xiaomi is keen to bring more of its ecosystem products to India, he said. In 2016, Xiaomi introduced its Mi Air Purifier 2 in the market, but in China its range of products is much wider than just smartphones. Xiaomi’s portfolio in China includes Mi TV, laptops, Air Purifiers, water purifiers, electric bicycles, rice cookers, etc. “We are looking to bring a lot more ecosystem products in India as well. Our first ecosystem product in India was the Mi Air Purifier 2, launched just ahead of the heavier pollution season. As a product it was a good fit for India, and it has been selling very well here as well,” said Sung.

Xiaomi’s Mi TV remains an awaited device in India, but so far the company has not confirmed if and when it will bring them to this market.

He also promised the Redmi Note 4 will have a better supply than the previous Redmi Note 3 smartphone. “We’ve been in India for two years and are increasing our local manufacturing processes rapidly,” he said. Xiaomi is confident the Redmi Note 4 will outdo the Redmi Note 3 in sales; the latter was the best-selling smartphone in the online space in India and helped the company bounce up to number three in the list of smartphone vendors in India.

Sung said the Redmi Note 4 marks a significant upgrade over the previous version. “One of the important things is that we’ve moved to the next generation of processing technology, with 14nm. Previously Qualcomm’s high-end Snapdragon 820, 821 were using this technology.” he pointed out.

Xiaomi also confirmed the Redmi Note 4 will be made available to other platforms eventually, though initially it will be a Flipkart and Mi.com exclusive. Xiaomi plans to launch the phone on Amazon, Paytm, and other online portals and will target offline in a big way for 2017.

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