After spending seven months in the Chinese market, the Xiaomi Mi 4 finally made its way into India earlier today. The phone is essentially going to go head-on with devices like the OnePlus One, Huawei Honor 6, etc., and at 20,000 INR (US$325), the phone seems to have crossed the budgets of many a buyer in India.
The general consensus is that the ‘honeymoon’ period for Xiaomi is over. It refers to the fact that the Mi 3, the Redmi 1S and the Redmi Note were all priced below the selling prices of the respective devices in China. That set the tune in the Indian market, which happens to be one of the most price sensitive around the world.
Needless to say, each one of Xiaomi’s phones have sold like hot cakes. The Mi 4 however, will probably tell a completely different story. Xiaomi might have missed a trick by pricing the device at 20,000 INR rather than closer to the 16-17,000 INR mark.
Mi 4 hopefuls from the country have taken to online fora to vent their frustration; and some points raised by many sound certainly valid. The Xiaomi Mi 4 launched in India (i) does not have 4G LTE support, (ii) comes with just 16GB of storage, and (iii) offers no color choice; take it or leave it (in white).
If you ask for my opinion, 15,000 INR certainly sounds lucrative but is quite far-fetched. That is something which could probably happen in 6-7 months from now when prices go down, but right now, it certainly doesn’t look like a missed opportunity. However, Xiaomi could certainly have done better to price the device at around 18,000 INR (US$293) to give the phone a better chance. With the 16GB version of the OnePlus One around the corner (I have a feeling it’s going to be quite a bit cheaper than the Mi 4), Xiaomi have more than just one thing to worry about.
The Mi 4 will be available for purchase in India starting February 10th via Flipkart, with registrations already being accepted.