There has been quite a buzz about the entry of Chinese smartphone manufacturer, Xiaomi, and its plans to enter the Indian market. It seems that the things have already been set into motion as Xiaomi successfully launched the Mi3 smartphone which is priced at INR 14,999 and fits in perfectly in the mid-segment. But the features are in line with those being offered in the premium segment.
The introduction ofthis phone will bring about a major boost in the ongoing trend of budget friendly smartphones by brands such as Micromax, Gionee and Xolo that have brought out several phones that not only go easy on the pocket but offer features that usually doesn’t accompany phones with such price tags.
As of now, there is no confirmation about where the phones would be made available in India but the company may have tied up with one of the largest eCommerce website in the country, Flipkart. On being asked, neither Flipkart nor Xiaomi responded to our question. Considering the level of competition that exists in this industry, an online eCommerce retail facility would be the obvious choice for any new market entrant. When it is able to achieve the desired sales in India, Xiaomi could consider the establishment of physical outlets.
Now speaking about the Mi3, it is not to be considered lightly. It may be priced in the mid-segment alongside its competitors such as Motorola’s Moto G and Blackberry’s latest Z3. However, its specifications match that of high end premium phones.
Vishal Tripathi, principal analyst at Gartner said, “Xiaomi has rebranded itself to Mi, may have a winner on their hands. For the price point, it’s an excellent phone. It’s better than what’s available in this price range. However, they’ve to firm up their marketing, go-to market and advertising strategies to win the consumer mindshare.”
The key specs of Mi3 include:
- Processor: 2.3 GHz Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 800 8274AB Quad Core Processor
- Memory: 2 GB RAM
- Display: 5 inch Full HD Display with 1080 x 1920 pixels resolution and 441 ppi (16 million colours); Capacitive Screen
- Camera: 13 Megapixel Rear Camera with Dual LED Flash; 2 Megapixel Front Facing Camera
- Storage: 16 GB Internal Memory; No support for external storage
- Battery: 3050 mAh, Non-Removable Battery
- Operating System: Android 4.3 with Support for Java and Flash Support in Browser
- OS Skin: MIUI Version 5
- Connectivity: Wi-Fi (802.11 a/ b/ g/ n/ ac), GPS, Bluetooth 4.0, NFC, FM, Micro-USB interface and 3G
- SIM Support: 1 SIM
- Sensors: Gyroscope, Accelerometer, Proximity Sensor, Compass / Magnetometer, Ambient Light Sensor
- Dimensions: 144 mm x 72 mm x 8.10 mm
- Weight: 145 grams
- Colour Variants: Metallic Grey
- Price: INR 14,999
These specs will definitely give tough competition not only to the international smartphone brands that have acquired a considerable share in the Indian market, but it will also prove to be major competitor for Chinese smartphone brands such as Lenovo, Gionee and Oppo.
Tarun Pathak, analyst at Cyber Media Research, said “While it (Xiaomi) may not grab a significant share from the global brands in the beginning owing to brand loyalty, it will definitely grab share from local and Chinese smartphone players which itself will amount to huge numbers to start with in a market like India.“
Almost 30 % of total smartphone sales in India lie within the INR 10,000 – INR 20,000 price band. This includes a mix of local handset vendors and global majors. The specs and the pricing of Xiaomi’s Mi3 makes it a worthy challenger not only in the mid-priced segment but also for premium phones as the smartphone is offering high end features at literally half the price. The phone has already been released in September, 2013 for the Chinese market, but its performance in the Indian market would really be interesting to check out. We have to wait till 15th July before we can get our hands on this amazing device. The Indian launch is not that far away so stay connected to check out our in-depth review of the Mi3 soon enough.
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