Xiaomi just won a huge battle in India as it ranked the country's largest smartphone vendor in the fourth quarter of 2017, taking a surprising lead from the world's largest smartphone vendor - Samsung. The Chinese smartphone maker's aggressive plans to take on more than just the smartphone industry in India is coming to fruition.
In China, Xiaomi has a series of products ranging from smartphones (some even exclusive to the region) to laptops and self-balancing scooters and more. Xiaomi has always wanted to be known more than just a smartphone company, but there haven't been significant moves favouring those ambitions in India. Until now.
According to a new report by ET, Xiaomi is planning to enter a long-term partnership with the country's disruptive telecom operator, Reliance Jio, to explore a retail partnership similar to one it has with Apple. From a consumer point of view, this partnership will bring exciting Mi products to India.
If you've always admired the affordable smart Mi TVs that Xiaomi sells in China, it might finally be time to welcome the new product portfolio to India - country where Xiaomi has achieved unprecedented success. In addition, the partnership is also looking at selling some exclusive smartphones through Jio's retail network and Reliance Digital stores across the country.
"Senior executives at Xiaomi India and Reliance Jio have met several times in the last few weeks. While the Xiaomi-Reliance relationship will start with the B2B smart point-of-sales devices whereby the latter is going to place an order for around 1million units, both are keen to expand the relationship into consumer devices," one of the executives familiar with the ongoing plans told ET.
It is still unclear what smartphone models Xiaomi is planning to bring under its new partnership with Jio, but we'll know more when either company officially comments on the matter.
As for Xiaomi's Mi TVs, it serves a greater purpose for Jio, which is vigorously planning to foray into smart homes or IoT. The telco is currently relying on third-party hardware to support its smart home initiative but has some of its devices such as FTTH broadband router, JioTV set-top-box, and Chromecast-like dongles.
But this is not the first time Xiaomi is expected to bring new products beyond smartphones to India. Last month, Xiaomi's regulatory filing with the Registrar of Companies (RoC) revealed the company's expansion plans, which includes plans to sell more products apart from smartphones.
The company had said that it will potentially "sell all types of vehicles for transport, conveyance and other transport equipment, whether based on electricity or any other motive or mechanical power, including the components, spare parts."