Xiaomi Mi 4i launched in India at Rs 12,999; Hugo Barra reveals the secrets behind its competitive price

Xiaomi Mi 4i was launched in India on Thursday at Rs 12,999. This announcement drew huge cheers from the crowd of Mi Fans and also surprised a lot of media personnel present at the venue.


The Xiaomi Mi 4i was launched in India on Thursday at Rs 12,999. This announcement drew huge cheers from the crowd of Mi Fans and also surprised a lot of media personnel present at the venue.

The price comparison chart that Hugo Barra, Xiaomi VP of international, showed the audience had phones with similar or higher feature sets such as the Moto X2, HTC Desire 826 and the Samsung Galaxy A7. These phones had prices like Rs 29,999, Rs 29,000 and Rs 24,124. The column beside the Xiaomi Mi 4i was blank. Barra let the audience guess the price of the Mi 4i and most of the audience, keeping Xiaomi's competitive pricing model guessed a pricing around Rs 15,000 or there abouts. The Rs 12,999 price was received with lot of applause as the phone comes with decent mid range specs.

Speaking to tech2, Barra revealed some of the secrets behind the low price point. He said that there are three main reasons behind arriving at such a competitive price. The first was the design process before manufacturing and coming up with methods to build the phone in a way that help reduce cost of manufacturing. According to Barra, that has a huge impact on the costs.

He dismantled a Xiaomi Mi 4i unit to show how they have used both sides of an extremely small motherboard to allot more space to add in a larger capacity battery. Barra claims that it took Xiaomi around 18 months to come up with the internal design on the Mi 4i.

"Secondly, we are the largest or one of the largest customer for our suppliers. Naturally, that gives us cost advantage when it comes to sourcing internal components," said Barra. He said that since Xiaomi is the largest smartphone maker in China, that gives it an advantage in terms of volumes of material to be purchased from partners. Higher volumes helps Xiaomi get better deals on components than competition.

He also stressed on the importance of maintaining a great relationship with partner companies such as Sony, Samsung, Qualcomm, Sharp and so on. In fact, the second generation Qualcomm Snapdragon 615 DoC has been designed in India.

The last reason Barra gave regarding the competitive pricing was, "We sell the products at cost price." This according to him was the main reasons why the Xiaomi phones are sold at competitive pricing.

Like we mentioned in our first impressions, the Mi 4i has impressive features and on paper, at least, looks like it has the potential to repeat the magic of the Mi 3. Only time will tell if that indeed happens. In the meanwhile, check back the site for the full review of the Xiaomi Mi 4i.

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