Is Xiaomi Bringing its Cheapest Smartphone to India?

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The company had first launched Redmi Go in Philippines in February 2019. Rural India lags behind urban India in terms of smartphone penetration

pic credits – Mi

Xiaomi’s Twitter handles have been aggressively promoting an upcoming product since last few days in India. From the posts and graphics that Xiaomi and Redmi have been tweeting, it looks like as if the company is bringing its most economical smartphone offering to the country.

One of Redmi’s and Xiaomi’s recent tweets read, “We will be unlocking a new world of possibilities. Aapki Nayi Duniya will be revealed on 19th March 2019.”

This tweet is accompanied by a bold logo that reads Go. Interestingly Redmi’s cheapest smartphone is also known as Redmi Go in the Philippines market where it was launched first. It is to be noted here that India is one of the biggest markets for China-based Xiaomi.

Himanshu Jain, Senior Market Analyst, IDC India, said, “Xiaomi has been focusing on offline expansion since last year and by launching its cheapest phone it will definitely create some noise in the market. As of now none of the brands has strong foothold in the less than 5k price band, if Xiaomi is able to launch at less than 5k band then it will be great move.”

Targeting rural markets?

Smartphone penetration in rural India is still very low in comparison to urban India. Redmi Go smartphone that costs Php 3,990.00 (approx. Rs 5,400) in Philippines, might prove to be the dark horse for Redmi as a lot of phone users in rural India don’t upgrade to smartphones because of the prices involved.

Meenakshi, Forecast Analyst, Forrester Research, told EFY, “Expensive price bands are the reason that users do not generally upgrade to smartphones in rural India.” She added that as the smartphone market in urban saturates, more players will start targeting rural markets in the country.

Jain added, “With the kind of brand pull the company has, Xiaomi might be able to attract consumers migrating from feature phones to smartphones. Having said that if Xiaomi could get some Telco deals and launch phone with upfront subsidy then it might change the market dynamics. Yes, rural market must be in focus before launch but urban regions too have feature phone and less 5k smartphone consumers.”

Xiaomi had recently announced its offline expansion plans in India and had even opened 500 Mi Stores in the country. It is quite possible that the company will primarily target rural India and Tier III, IV and V cities with the launch.

Manu Jain, MD, Xiaomi India tweeted in Hindi and said that now crores of Indians will be able to enjoy the smartphone experience. His original tweet in Hindi read, “अब करोड़ों भारतीयों को मिलेगा स्मार्टफोन का अनुभव. इस नयी दुनिया में आपका स्वागत है! उन्नति, प्रगति और सबसे जुड़े रहने की दुनिया. स्वागत है आपका Aapki Nayi Duniya में!”

Redmi Go features

The Phillipines variant of Redmi Go features a 12.7-cm (5.0-inch) HD display. It is powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 425 SoC processor and a 3,000 mAh battery.

On the back it sports a 8MP main camera supported by an LED flashlight. On the front, Redmi Go has a 5MP camera for selfies. It comes with two SIM card slots and has a dedicated microSD slot that supports up to 128 GB microSD cards.

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