In a bid to expand its reach into the Indian retail market, Xiaomi has taken to selling its smartphones through offline channels in India territory, in tandem with its online retail strategy.
According to Reuters, Xiaomi's 4G handsets with 4G capabilities will be available through Bharti Airtel's 133 stores, which dot six cities in India. The smartphone is currently priced at 9,999 rupees (US$158), like its online deal. Both brick-and-mortar purchases and online pre-orders are not bundled with network chips or pricing plans.
Manu Jain, head of Xiaomi in India, said the retail strategy was a step toward promoting Xiaomi devices in more cities across India. The decision is congruent to Xiaomi's current consumer reach of 1,000 cities, after entering the Indian market through online retailer Flipkart in July 2014.
Xiaomi's new strategy comes amid a legal tussle in India. Earlier in mid-December 2014, the Chinese handset maker was partially dissolved after a few days, placing the Chinese electronics company back on course to court mobile users from the second-most populated country in the world.in India due to an alleged infringement on Ericsson's patents. The injunction was
Despite the minor setback, Christmas Day of 2014 saw Hugo Barra, global vice president of Xiaomi, announcing the sale of one million Mi phone units within India.
Beyond attracting a wider range of consumers, Xiaomi is also wooing Indian startups as part of its 2015 strategy, by setting up a R&D office in Bengaluru. The 20,000-square-foot venue will be working with local startups to expand the mobile technology arena in India, as well as help out in co-developing products catered to the Indian population -- such as India-specific software that supports more Indian languages and a wider range of phone themes.