At an event in Visakhapatnam, Xiaomi launched its first handset manufactured locally in the country, the Redmi 2 Prime. The Chinese manufacturer stated last year that it was looking to set up a facility in India, and with the government looking to boost manufacturing through the "Make in India" program, Xiaomi was able to get a deal fast-tracked.
From Xiaomi's global VP Hugo Barra:
Redmi 2 Prime is the first smartphone from Xiaomi to be assembled in our facility in Sri City. We would like to thank Andhra Pradesh government for helping us to start local manufacturing within just six months. Initial talks started in February and today we have already started to sell the Redmi 2 Prime. As for the hardware on offer, the Redmi 2 Prime features a 4.7-inch 720p screen, Snapdragon 410 CPU, 2GB RAM, 16GB internal memory, 8MP camera, 2MP front shooter and a 2,200mAh battery. The device will be available for ₹6,999 ($110) in the country.
Xiaomi is collaborating with Foxconn in assembling the phone in India, which Barra said was similar to the arrangement both organizations have in Brazil:
The unit in Brazil and the one here are exactly the same. It took us about three times more the time to start manufacturing in Brazil than in India.
Initially, all the components will be imported from China as the manufacturing segment is still in its nascent stages:
This is like the typical chicken and egg story. Unless there is any smartphone manufacturing happening in the country, you cannot expect to get components locally.
Xiaomi has mentioned that it will source locally for packaging and accessories in the future, and will look to scale up production at the factory based on the demand.
The Indian government's push to boost hardware manufacturing has attracted interest from several global vendors, including Sony, HTC and Samsung. Hardware manufacturing was generally limited to phones that were being exported out of the country, as was the case with Nokia's iconic Chennai facility, which accounted for a majority of Nokia handsets sold in the Middle East, Africa, Asia, Australia and New Zealand.
That's set to change in the coming months and years, as the government recently signed off on Huawei's bid to manufacture and sell phones locally. Foxconn has also entered into a five-year agreement that sees the vendor establishing 12 factories in the country, bringing in an investment of $5 billion.
Source: The Indian Express