Xiaomi to Start Manufacturing Phones in India Within 2 Years: Barra

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Xiaomi to Start Manufacturing Phones in India Within 2 Years: Barra
Xiaomi might be a newcomer to the Indian market, but the Chinese company has been enjoying astonishing sales in the country via its exclusive e-commerce partner, Flipkart. Now, Hugo Barra, Xiaomi's Vice President, has revealed that the company will begin production in the country, likely within two years.

Talking to Bloomberg, Barra said the company is already in talks with its primary manufacturer, Foxconn, to produce smartphones in India and Brazil. While production in India is likely to begin in one to two years, Barra said Brazil may start sooner. Barra stressed that India will be its "focus" for coming years, saying the Xiaomi had sold over half a million smartphone in India since its entry in July. He added, "We're shipping absurd quantities into India. We went from shipping 50,000 a week into India to 200,000."

(Also see: Xiaomi's Hugo Barra Talks About Selling Movies and Music; Mi 4 in Q1 2015)

Xiaomi on Monday announced the Redmi Note and Redmi Note 4G for India, and Bloomberg cites Counterpoint Research's Neil Shah to say the 5.5-inch phablet was the bestselling smartphone for the company in the third-quarter. Shah added that Indian consumers are quickly adopting large-screen smartphones, and that the Redmi Note will help the company ship 1 million smartphones this quarter and enter the top-five smartphone vendor rankings.

The Chinese company, also referred to as China's Apple, is following a strategy where the company intends to manufacture handsets in some markets it is looking to expand in. This should help reduce costs sufficiently to offer smartphones at optimum price points. On plans to setting up manufacturing plants in some countries Barra detailed, "We have to build better and better products making sure they're catered to each market and sold at the best possible price. You cannot sell a product in Brazil that is not manufactured locally because it would cost you extraordinarily," citing heavy import tariffs in the country.

Bloomberg notes that Xiaomi currently relies on manufacturing partners such as Foxconn-owned FIH Mobile and Inventec to build handsets.

The report also added that while Xiaomi had initially planned to expand its operations to 10 new markets this year; however it will now focus on just five, with India and Indonesia at the top of the list. "Consumers in Brazil, Russia, Thailand, Mexico and Turkey will have to wait a bit longer," notes Bloomberg.

Xiaomi's CEO Lei Jun recently at the World Internet Conference in China had revealed he saw his company becoming the world's biggest smartphone maker in the next 5 to 10 years.

Notably, Xiaomi was claimed to be the third-largest mobile phone vendor in terms of smartphones sold replacing Huawei in the third quarter this year, according to a market research firm. It was shortly after ousted from this spot when Lenovo completed its acquisition of Motorola.


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Further reading: Hugo Barra, Mobiles, Xiaomi, Xiaomi Mobiles
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