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Business News/ Companies / News/  Xiaomi unlikely to launch its EV in India anytime soon but may revamp tablets, wearables portfolio
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Xiaomi unlikely to launch its EV in India anytime soon but may revamp tablets, wearables portfolio

Xiaomi is also looking at developing wearables for India-specific use cases, including true wireless headsets with varying levels of noise cancellation.

The interior of the Xiaomi SU7Premium
The interior of the Xiaomi SU7

Barcelona: Xiaomi’s SU7 electric car, which it will begin selling in China this year, is unlikely to come to India anytime soon, company executives said. “Outside China, we don’t know if there are any plans," said Anuj Sharma, chief marketing officer at Xiaomi India.

The Chinese company, best known for its smartphones, plans to revamp its tablet and wearables portfolio in India and may introduce models specific to the country before the festive season. “In India the penetration of broadband is very low, so Wi-Fi-only models won’t see mass adoption. We can launch LTE models," Shamra said.

Xiaomi is also looking at developing wearables for India-specific use cases, including true wireless headsets with varying levels of noise cancellation. The latest Watch S3 and Watch2, priced at €149 and €199, respectively, may not be brought to India, but the company plans to introduce wearables priced slightly above 3,000. “We have been focusing on affordability and are working closely with our production and R&D teams to see what can be developed," Sharma added.

The company, which launched the Xiaomi 14 series of smartphones in collaboration with camera maker Leica, is evaluating whether it can bring the more expensive Xiaomi 14 Ultra – priced at €1,499 – to India. It will sell the Xiaomi 14 for about 75,000.

“We have to figure out some business partnerships and do some feasibility studies to see if we can bring [the Xiaomi 14 Ultra]," he said. The company is working with banking and finance partners for easy, interest-free payment plans to make the Xiaomi 14 more accessible to consumers in India.

Leica partnership

With Xiaomi 14, the company hopes to break into the super-premium segment (above 60,000), which is dominated by Apple and Samsung. It has formed an exclusive partnership with Leica to co-develop smartphones with its camera technology. Premium smartphones make up a tiny portion of India’s $38-billion smartphone market by volume, but a large portion by value. “It's making inroads and it's going to be a multi-year process to build up a Xiaomi brand in that segment, while Redmi will remain for the mass market," Sharma said.

The two companies are also looking to introduce Leica’s camera features in cheaper smartphones, but not those priced below €500 ($543), said Kay Plaetke, strategy and business development manager for mobile at Leica. A large portion of the Indian market comprises phones priced below 30,000 (€300).

The German camera maker, which ventured into smartphone camera technology in 2015, was associated with Huawei until 2021 and partnered with Xiaomi the following year. It introduced their first jointly made product in 2022 in the US, and will now look at doing so in India. It considers India a critical market for its camera and smartphone camera businesses.

Burczyk said Leica may also consider setting up a research and development facility in India in partnership with Indian universities in the future. “Maybe there's a possible chance in the future to cooperate or to work deeply together with some Indian universities," he said.

(The reporter is in Barcelona at the invitation of Xiaomi)

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Gulveen Aulakh
Gulveen covers both corporate and economy, and policy sections of Mint. She also covers telecom, IT from the corporate side and disinvestment, finance ministry from the economy side. Gulveen finds the rare mix of sectors she covers to be incredibly interesting.
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Published: 27 Feb 2024, 07:08 PM IST
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