The Chinese smartphone market is touted as being one of huge potential for device manufacturers, however, that potential is dying down and device makers are looking for other markets to enter.
A number of analysts and companies in the industry suggest that India could be the next big market, and Xiaomi has decided to take a leap of faith and actually make an entrance into it, announcing that it will be building a factory in the country.
The facility is being built in partnership with Foxconn and will see the development of devices in Sri City in Andhra Pradesh, which is India's Silicon Valley and the place to be for science, technology and engineering in India. Xiaomi has even announced a device to be released, called the Redmi 2 Prime, which is available now for 6,999 Rupees, or $110.
"Redmi 2 Prime is the first smartphone from Xiaomi to be assembled in our facility in Sri City. We would like to thank Andhra Pradesh government for helping us to start local manufacturing within just six months. Initial talks started in February and today we have already started to sell the Redmi 2 Prime," said Xiaomi Global VP Hugo Barra in an interview with Indian Express.
Xiaomi is set to be the first of many companies to make an entrance into the Indian market, which is soon expected to be booming. This will be amplified by Google's Android One, which is Google's attempt at having devices created that cost as little as $50 but still retain a certain level of quality. Despite this, so far, Google's efforts have been minimized because of the weak mobile infrastructure in India so far.
The Redmi 2 Prime itself is certainly a decent device, especially for the price. It features a Qualcomm 64-bit Snapdragon 410 processor, a 4.7-inch display, dual-SIM support and 2 GB of RAM. It also features up to 16 GB of storage and a rear-facing camera that boasts 8 megapixels.
The facility being built in India is very similar to one that Xiaomi built in Brazil, which was also created in partnership with Foxconn.
"The unit in Brazil and the one here are exactly the same. It took us about three times more the time to start manufacturing in Brazil than in India," continued Barra.
It certainly makes sense for Xiaomi to build a manufacturing plant in India. Currently, it imports parts for devices from China, however, it says that it aims to get parts locally in the future, starting with things like chargers and batteries.