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​Xiaomi to release Mi 3 as first foray in India

The Chinese smartphone company makes its first foray into the Indian market with a relaunch of last year's flagship device.

Xiaomi's Mi 3 will soon be sold in India. Aloysius Low/CNET

Xiaomi's plans to sell its phones in India have never been a secret, so it's no surprise to find that the company has announced its first phone for India. The Chinese company has launched a new India portal on its site, while global VP Hugo Barra made the announcement via a tweet.

The quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 800-powered Mi 3 will be the first phone Xiaomi launches in the country and will retail for a cool price of Rs 14,999 ($250, £146, AU$266). Note that there's a slight premium compared with the phone's price in Singapore ($239).

Xiaomi's launch in India is interesting for a few reasons. Instead of selling its cheaper Redmi 1S or Redmi Note, last year's Mi 3 is the company's headliner. Given the competition in India from other flagships such as Gionee and it's super-slim 5.5mm Elife S5.5, releasing the slightly dated Mi 3 could be the right move.

Also, given that supplies of the Redmi Note sold out incredibly fast in other markets, Xiaomi may be facing a stock crunch for the Note, while the Mi 3 has been in production for quite a while now, and it's likely easier for the company to fill upcoming orders from its India launch.

In a statement to CNET, Xiaomi's spokesperson said that "there's still a lot more to be shared" and that more information will be revealed at a press conference happening in New Delhi on July 15. Hugo Barra and Xiaomi president Bin Lin will also be there.