There is no doubt that Xiaomi is the hottest name in the mobile market in India. The company has built their success on cunning marketing strategies. The company’s Mi and Redmi series has had hundreds of thousands of customers scramble for the products because of limited availability on exclusive seller Flipkart, a clever ploy that has drawn so much attention from the Indian market that it has seen the e-retailer’s servers crash on sale days.
At a press conference today, the company announced two new products: the Redmi 2 and the MiPad. The former is the child of the original Redmi, by far the most popular budget phone option in the market currently, while the latter is viewed by experts as a challenger to Apple’s iPad, a thought made more believable by the cheekiness of the product’s name. Given Xiaomi’s track record in terms of both quality and sales, it is reasonable to expect a repeat of their stellar original performance.
The new Redmi resembles its father in most aspects, but has undergone a few mutations. The processor has received an upgrade in the form of 1.2 GHZ quad-core SnapDragon 410 processor. The model is also slightly thinner than the first. It possesses a 4.7 inch screen of a resolution of 1280×720 pixels that is protected with a Corning Gorilla Glass 2 screen, that also offers protection against fingermarks and grease stains. The 8 MP, camera a satisfactory performer as any Redmi user will tell you, occupies the back while the front camera has received a slight upgrade to 2 MP. It will run on Android KitKat 4.4 with Xiaomi’s custom MIUI 6 skin. Interestingly, the dual sim card slots will support 4G connections.
The MiPad elicits more attention, however. It will be the first tablet that India sees from the Chinese manufacturer, and was itself introduced in China only last June. Standing at 7.9 inches and 8.5mm in width, and weighing in at 320 grams, the MiPad presents itself as a serious contender in the cutthroat ring of the Indian technological market. The tablet runs on a 2.2 GHZ quad-core Tegra K1 processor and 2 GB of memory. Xiaomi claims that the 6,700 mAh battery can last up to 11 hours.
The lower price must surely mean the absence of certain features, musn’t it? It does, with the overall performance certainly not as indicative of power as its more expensive rivals Apple and Samsung, and the lack of cellular connectivity.
The Redmi begins its sale of with Xiaomi’s trademark – and frustrating, it must be said – registrations today and will be available for purchase on the 24th of March, a lottery-like process that leaves a bulk of the hopefuls empty-handed.
The Redmi 2 is more as refinement than reinvention. Xiaomi is moving forward with what works. 30, 000 – 40, 000 is the rumoured number of units expected to be available for sale. The cost, a thousand rupees more expensive than the Redmi 1, will be Rs. 6,999.
Sales for the MiPad will take place on the 24th of March as well but potentials buyers can breathe easy as the tablet will not sold through the flash sale, first-come-first-get method.
Whether the MiPad will succeed in finding a top place in the Indian market is unanswerable at this point, but the company’s popularity with the masses should give them the support they need.