Xiaomi, the company that topped China’s smartphone market in the last quarter, has begun manufacturing devices in India in another move to localize its brand in the South Asia country.
The firm has sold phones that are assembled in China in India for more than a year, but always made its intention to manufacture locally clear. Today, it announced that it has partnered with Foxconn, the manufacturing company best known for producing the iPhone and iPad, to assemble devices on the ground in India. The first India-made phone will be the Redmi 2 Prime, an updated version of its budget smartphone line, which is also its biggest seller.
Xiaomi and Foxconn have already begun production. The first fruits of that labor is the Redmi 2 Prime, which is available from today for 6,999 INR — that’s approximately $110.
Today’s announcement is part of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s ‘Make in India’ project to attract world-class manufacturing and design, but it is also another step for the Xiaomi local brand. The company scooped up a strategic investment from top businessman Ratan Tata, and unveiled its first device designed for Indians — the Mi 4i — in April as it seeks to broaden its appeal in India, a smartphone market with significant growth potential. (China, while larger, is beginning to contract.)
India isn’t the only market where Xiaomi is developing its local operations. The company recently entered Brazil, the home country of its head of international development — Hugo Barra — where it is manufacturing devices locally due to high import taxes.
Foxconn itself has pledged to invest $5 billion to grow its manufacturing chops in India. Xiaomi is likely to be one of its many partners there.