Leading Chinese smartphone maker Xiaomi is to set up an independent e-commerce channel in India and may partner with Foxconn to launch an Android One smartphone, reports our Chinese-language sister paper Commercial Times.Head of Xiaomi India operations Manu Jain said that the company is going to build its own local e-commerce platform no later than 2015. At the same time they will continue its partnership with India's largest e-commerce vendor Flipkart to serve users.
Though Flipkart also cooperated with other handset makers such as Motorola and Huawei, Indian users have to register in Xiaomi's official website before buying Xiaomi smartphones from Flipkart. It shows that Xiaomi has certain control over users in India, the report said.
Besides selling its Hongmi 1S for about US$100 and Hongmi Note for US$145 in India, Xiaomi will join the Android One project initiated by Google and launch more models in the near future, said Hugo Barra, Xiaomi's vice president of international.
To solve capacity problems, Xiaomi said they were in talks with manufacturers there who are said to be Foxconn.
India with its population of 1.2 billion people is the third-largest smartphone market in the world with a smartphone penetration rate as high as 32%. The country is forecast to see 100 million smartphone shipments in 2015. As the Chinese market is getting more saturated, India has emerged as a promising market for handset makers including Huawei, Lenovo, Asustek and Xiaomi.
Xiaomi ranked in the top six in market share in the third quarter this year while Taiwan-based Asustek sold monthly 200,000 ZenFones and is expected to enter top ten in the Indian market before 2015.
Market analysts said Xiaomi's major moves in sales channel, product and manufacturing will impact Asustek, which has ambitions to break he top five in the Indian market next year.