15:38 17th Dec, 2014
Don't Expect A Sub-Rs 5,000 Smartphone From Xiaomi Anytime Soon
The company believes its key growth driver in India will be localization from a language perspective
Xiaomi may be best known for making great smartphones at hard-to-beat prices, but given that its cheapest device will set you back Rs 6,000, it still has a long way to go before catering to the first-time smartphone buyer.
While that may make you think that the boffins at Xiaomi are hard at work fixing just that, the company says we shouldn't expect a sub-Rs 5,000 smartphone anytime soon. The reason, according to VP Hugo Barra is that it's still far too hard to deliver a great smartphone experience at such a low cost.
"You should get more out of a Rs 6,000 smartphone and we've tried to deliver that experience but getting it below Rs 6,000 looks difficult at the moment," he said, at an industry conference in New Delhi.
Xiaomi has recently made news for getting itself banned from selling devices in India, but despite this the company says it hugely focused on investing in Indian startups, especially local language projects. He added that given the regional diversity in the country, hyper localization will be key to disrupting the market.
Unfortunately, with Xiaomi being a sucker for delivering great user experience rather than just low-cost devices, we shouldn't expect its smartphones to get any cheaper. The substitute to not being present in the highly lucrative sub-Rs 5,000 smartphone market, the company believes, is localization from a language perspective.
"Most users message in Hindi but don't use Hindi keyboards. Perhaps a different solution would address localization issues and bring smartphones to a wider user base," added Barra.
The other big move that should disrupt the Indian mobile market according to him is the growth of 4G. He added that Reliance's entry into the space had a huge potential to change the game, especially when it comes to using smartphones as primary internet devices.
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