Xiaomi Closes Its First India Deal; Leads $25 Million Investment In Hungama

Company Name : Hungama
Funding Amount : $25 Million
Investor(s) Xiaomi
Funding Round : Not Disclosed


Chinese smartphone maker has led an investment round of $25 million in Hungama, a video and music streaming service. Existing investors including Intel Capital, Bessemer Venture Partners and Rakesh Jhunjhunwala also participated in the round.

This is Xiaomi’s first investment in an Indian company. Xiaomi had earlier committed to invest in startups and also joined the Make In India campaign and started manufacturing.

The company will also integrate Hungama’s services into its content platform in India.

Hungama claims to have over 8,000 movies on its platform and 65 million users.

“We are very excited to be partnering with Xiaomi, as we are extremely aligned in the way we see digital media becoming mainstream on mobile devices. With this investment, we intend to further strengthen our movie and TV services,” Neerja Roy, CEO of Hungama said in a statement.

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Xiaomi Launches Its Flagship Smartphone Mi 5 At Rs 24,999

Xiaomi has today launched its flagship smartphone Mi 5 in India.

The Mi5 will be available in three variants. Mi 5 Pro will come with Snapdragon 820 processor, 3GB RAM and 32GB inbuilt storage. It is priced at Rs 24,999.

The smartphone will weigh 129gm and comes with 3D glass body, 5.15-inch full HD display, finger-print sensor, Android Marshmallow OS based MIUI v7.0, 16MP 4-axis OIS camera, 4MP front camera and 3,000 mAh battery.

The 4-axis OIS will provide image stabilization and will also correct movements for far long shots.
 

Earlier the company had announced that it will launch three models, however in India only one model has been launched.

The company says that the design of Mi 5 has been inherited from Mi Note and comes in black, gold and white colour variants with a metal and glass design.

The devices will be available from April 6th on Mi’s online store and will be later available with the retailers.

Xiaomi Under Investigation In China For Using ‘Best’, ‘Most Advanced’ To Describe Its Products

Xiaomi is under investigation for allegedly violating China’s new advertising law which bans the use of superlative adjectives for promoting products, reports The Mint.

The state-run China Daily says that industry regulators have initiated an investigation into the Xiaomi on suspicions of using phrases like “the best” and “the most advanced” to describe its products online.

Law-enforcement staff had found evidences on Xiaomi’s official website that allegedly were against China’s new advertising policies, after receiving a tip-off from a whistleblower.

(Source)

Xiaomi Showcases MiUi 7 Global Edition [Beta Launch On Aug 24]

Xiaomi has unveiled the global edition of MiUi 7, it’s own version of Android OS, which will launch in beta on August 24.

MiUi 7 feels more of an iterative update than previous MiUi versions, with the biggest change being Xiaomi’s partnership with Opera.

MiUi-7-(4)

The OS will utilize Opera’s Max technology to compress data in browsers and other apps which Xiaomi claims will reduce mobile data usage by up to 50%.

Apart from the data saver feature the company says MiUi 7 will allow apps to run 30% faster and consume up to 10% less battery life.

MiUi-7-(2)

Showtime is another feature that lets users assign 5 second looping videos for each contact which will play when they call, and an image of the day feature that showcases different pictures on the lockscreen and even an XXL font size option.

MiUi-7-(3)

Further, the photo gallery now uses facial recognition to sort images by the people who’re in it and there are 4 different UI themes.

The China specific version of MiUi7 was unveiled last week along with the Redmi Note 2 while the global edition of the software was launched at an event in New Delhi, showing the company’s commitment to the Indian market.

Xiaomi Launches The Redmi Note 2, Note 2 Prime And MiUi 7

Xiaomi has finally launched its highly anticipated Redmi Note 2 and Redmi Note 2 Prime smartphones alongside showcasing its new MiUi 7 ROM based on Android 5.1 Lollipop at an event in Beijing, China.

Redmi Note 2

Redmi Note 2

The Redmi Note 2 features a 5.5-inch Full HD display and is powered by a MediaTek Helio X10 octa-core processor coupled to 2GB of RAM. Internal storage memory for the device stands at 16GB and there isn’t an option for expansion.

The device comes in two variants, a 3G-only variant which has been priced at RMB 799 (approx Rs 8,100) and a 4G variant priced at RMB 899 (approx Rs 9,100). Apart from that, the specifications on both devices are identical.

Redmi Note 2 (2)

In terms of imaging, the Redmi Note 2 features a 13MP primary camera built by Samsung at the rear and a 5MP front facing shooter. Powering all that hardware is a 3060 mAh Removable Battery feature Quick Charge 2.0.

Redmi Note 2 Prime

Redmi Note 2 Specs

The Redmi Note 2 Prime is a slightly scooped up version of the regular Redmi Note 2 and has been priced at RMB 999 (approx Rs 10,100). The Prime features the same MediaTek processor but has been clocked at 2.2GHz as opposed to 2.0GHz.

Moreover, the biggest difference between the Prime and the regular device is the increased 32GB of storage. The rest of the specifications between both devices are the same and the Redmi Note 2 Prime doesn’t come in a 3G-only variant.

MiUi 7

MiUi 7

The new Redmi Note 2 will run on Xiaomi’s proprietary MiUi 7 ROM which is based on Google’s Android 5.1 Lollipop OS. The OS launched in China will be specific to the country, while the global version will launch in India on August 19.

Enhancements include a lot of UI changes including the ability to change themes, features and a new way to receive calls. The China variant has the Mi Roaming app which sort of lets users use a virtual SIM. You’ll be able to buy a data pack from Xiaomi and retain your SIM while you travel.

MiUi 7 Facial Recognition

Users can now set videos for contacts, so instead of a regular ringtone, you can have a video start playing every time someone calls. There’s also facial recognition for the Photo Gallery app that now sorts photos by person.

MiUi is now used by 150 million users and the latest version MiUi 7 was built by Xiaomi’s 750 strong R&D team. MIUI 7 will be rolling out via an OTA update to the Mi 2, Mi 2S, Mi 2A, Mi 3, Mi 4, Mi Note, and the Redmi Note starting tomorrow.

Xiaomi’s India Manufacturing Journey Has Begun [Launches Redmi 2 Prime]

Xiaomi has launched its first made-in-India smartphone, the Redmi 2 Prime, which was launched at Visakhapatnam by Andhra Pradesh CM Chandrababu Naidu. The device is a variant of the Redmi 2 that was launched earlier, but packs double the RAM and storage memory for Rs 6,999.

The Redmi 2 Prime will be assembled in partnership with contract manufacturer Foxconn at its facility in Sri City in Andhra Pradesh. While 100% of the components are imported from China, the company said it will look to produce them locally over time.

From drawing board to execution, the entire operation of manufacture smartphone locally took Xiaomi roughly 100 days. The company is now looking at manufacturing the packaging locally, followed by procuring chargers and then batteries from local vendors.

Hugo Barra, VP of Xiaomi, declined to comment on the capacity of the plant in Andhra Pradesh, stating that it was still too early and that it was adding manpower and resources every day. Further, the company will not look at exporting smartphones made in India yet.

Xiaomi is setting up a similar facility in Brazil, however, it took the company around 3 months more to begin manufacturing there. India and Brazil will house the first manufacturing units for Xiaomi outside its home market of China, and the company has partnered with Foxconn for both.

Xiaomi Ties Up With Redington To Sell Devices Offline In India

Xiaomi has announced that it is currently experimenting with offline selling in India, bringing its smartphones to brick and mortar stores as it eyes a bigger chunk of the Indian market.

The company is tying up with Redington, only of the largest mobile phone distributors in the country in order to help it distribute devices across the organised and unorganised channels.

Xiaomi will work on a commission based model to sell devices offline and its devices will initially be available across 1,000 – 1,500 stores in 15 south Indian cities.

The roll-out will be phased, with the first phase expected to go live in the next 45-60 days but offline selling is expected to hurt the company’s already minimal profits.

“The cost of doing offline business is of course higher… the margins will be affected but not much,” said Manu Jain, Head of Xiaomi India.

In China too Xiaomi has an offline presence which contributes to 30% of sales in the country. In India Xiaomi expects offline sales to contribute between 25 – 30% of sales.

Apart from smartphones, Xiaomi is also looking to bring its air purifiers and televisions to India and is even in talks with contract manufacturer Foxconn to assemble devices locally.

Image Source: Wikipedia

Xiaomi To Launch MiUi 7 On August 13 [Update]

Xiaomi has apparently teased what is possibly the launch of its MiUi 7 OS on August 13 according to a post by Nanana on the company’s official forum.

MiUi7

The image posted shows the number ‘7’ followed by ‘8.13’ possibly teasing the launch of Xiaomi’s MiUi 7 software which was earlier rumoured to launch this month.

Currently, no further details about xiaomi’s MiUi 7 OS are available, but it is possible that the company will launch the software a new device – possibly the Redmi Note 2?

Other theories have suggested that MiUi 7 might be launched as soon as today, however, as it is with these things, you can’t be absolutely sure.

 

Update: Nanana seems to have more information on the launch. The event will apparently take place at the China National Convention Center.

User Ailsaz has now posted images of the invitation letter. You can check them out here.

This rumour seems to be getting wings. Let’s wait for the official confirmation just to be sure though.

Xiaomi Tops Smartphone Sales In Q2 2015; Apple Drops To Third

Chinese startup Xiaomi has regained its crown as the country’s top smartphone vendor during Q2 2015 with a market share of 15.9% according to research firm Canalys.

Xiaomi Redmi 2

Apple, which took the first place in the previous quarter, dropped to the third spot after Huawei moved into second position with an impressive 48% quarter-on-quarter growth.

Samsung and Vivo made up the top 5 smartphone vendors in China in terms of sales during Q2 2015 according to Canalys, which is validated by figures released by Counterpoint research.

According to Counterpoint, Xiaomi stood first (15.8%), next came Huawei (15.4%), then Apple (12.2%), then Vivo (8.1%) and finally Samsung in 5th place.

It should be noted that Vivo registered 250% year-on-year growth to get to the 4th spot, making it one of the brands to look out for in China for the time being.

While Apple lost out on the top spot in the quarter, its flagship iPhone 6 and 6 Plus are no longer new, so it will be interesting to see if the company can regain dominance in China once it releases its next-generation devices.

Uber Integration : Order Xiaomi Mi Note From Uber App [In Malaysia / Singapore]

Xiaomi has announced its partnership with ride hailing service Uber for the on-demand delivery of its recently launched Mi Note smartphone in Singapore and Malaysia.

Uber Xiaomi Integration

The process for ordering a Mi Note is the exact same as calling an Uber. All buyers have to do is open up the Uber app, set the slider at the bottom to Xiaomi and hit request.

Setting the slider to Xiaomi shows orange coloured Uber cars equipped to deliver the Mi Note. Payments will be charged directly to the credit card tied to the Uber account.

Buyers will then have the device delivered to their location within a few minutes. The service will be available only on July 27, a day before the Mi Note goes on sale via Xiaomi’s website.

Xiaomi Launches 32GB Mi4i Smartphone At Rs 14,999

Xiaomi has announced the launch of the 32GB Mi4i smartphone for Rs 14,999 as it kicks off celebrations for its one year anniversary sale.

Xiaomi Mi4i

The device will go on sale on July 28 via a flash sale at 2 pm. Registrations for the sale of the 32GB Mi4i are open right now.

The 32GB Mi4i features the exact same specs as the Mi4i, apart from the increased storage, which was launched in the April this year.

A 5-inch FullHD display, Snapdragon 615 processor, 2GB RAM, a 13MP primary camera and 5MP front-facing shooter, dualSIM (4G+4G) support and 3120mAh battery, round up the basic specs.

Apart from launching the Mi4i 32GB, the company is offering several offers such as a Mi Coupon worth Rs 500 with the purchase of every Mi4i 16GB smartphone. Xiaomi is also offering buyers of the Mi4i 16GB and Redmi 2 free phone cases upon purchase.

Apple Beats Fitbit And Xiaomi To Become The World’s Largest Wearable Vendor

Apple has become the world’s largest vendor of wearables in Q2 2015 as shipments of the Apple Watch clocked 4.2 million units.

Fitbit and Xiaomi which previously held the no. 1 and 2 spots respectively have now been pushed down the order by Apple.

Research firm Canalys released figures for wearable sales during Q2 2015 confirming Apple’s lead in the wearable space.

The report comes at a time when several news reports have questioned whether the Apple Watch has actually been a success.

According to Canalys, early Apple Watch sales were hindered by the company missing out on the Holiday Season sales and supply constraints.

During Q1, Fitbit managed to sell 3.9 million wearables while Xiaomi managed to ship 2.8 million of its MiBands. Canalys hasn’t released sales figures for Fitbit and Xiaomi in Q2.

While the figures indicate that the Apple Watch is a hit, it’s still going to be a while before the smartwatch market for fully matures.

Did Xiaomi Just Tease The 32GB Variant Of The Mi4i?

Xiaomi has released a teaser for an upcoming product on its official India Facebook page reading “Move 4 to double” as part of its Anniversary celebrations.

Xiaomi Mi4i 32GB Teaser

While the image doesn’t reveal much, the ‘16’ made out of matchsticks does signify it has something to do with storage capacity of the upcoming product.

The teaser could point at the launch of the 32GB variant of Xiaomi’s mid-range Mi4i smartphone that went on sale in April.

Hugo Barra, VP of Xiaomi, had earlier mentioned that the company will bump up the inbuilt storage of the Mi4i as the company is against the use of SD cards which are prone to failure and slow down the performance of a device.

Still, there are a lot of questions that need to be answered, but the wait won’t be long. As part of the company’s 1-year anniversary in India, it is also hosting a competition asking fans to guess what the upcoming device will be.

Xiaomi Strengthening Its Patent Portfolio Ahead Of U.S. Launch

Chinese smartphone maker Xiaomi is looking to file more patents and strike more deals ahead of its entry into the US smartphone market.

xiaomi (1)

Hugo Barra, International head of Xiaomi, said that the company was laying the groundwork for its entry into the US market at the Code conference.

Patent issues are taken very serious in the US and Europe and Xiaomi knows just how important having access to certain IP really is.

“Think of it as, like, a war chest of sorts,” said Barra.

While he didn’t specify a timeline for the same, news of the company wanting to sell its devices in more mature markets has been circulating for sometime.

Xiaomi has already faced the heat for not owning or paying for IP in India, when Ericsson sued the company that led to the temporary ban on sale of all its devices.

Xiaomi Redmi 2 Now Available For Rs 5,999

Xiaomi has dropped the price of its Redmi 2 smartphone by Rs 1,000 as it looks to keep up with newer devices from the competition.

Xiaomi Redmi 2

The device is now available for Rs 5,999 in grey and white variants. The device packs a Snapdragon 410 SoC, 4.7-inch HD display, Dual 4G SIM support and an 8MP primary camera.

Xiaomi claims it passes on benefits of lower production costs to customers as a device gets older. The Redmi 2 can be bought on Flipkart, Amazon.in, Snapdeal and Mi.com.

Xiaomi Slashes Redmi Note 4G Price By Rs 2,000

Xiaomi really isn’t holding anything back in its effort to become a dominant force in the Indian smartphone market.

Xiaomi Redmi Note 4G

After offering a slew of discounts and slashing prices of its flagship Mi4 smartphone, the company has turned to the lower end of its lineup – the Redmi Note.

Prices of the Redmi Note 4G have been slashed by Rs 2,000, which now sellf for Rs 7,999 on mi.com , Flipkart, Amazon and Snapdeal’s online stores.

While the Redmi Note 4G is aging, its specifications are on par with newer competition. Bundling that to a price cut and the device offers a whole lot of value for money.

Just in case you forgot, the Redmi Note 4G comes packing a Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 processor clocked at 1.6GHz, a 5.5-inch HD IPS display and 3,100mAh battery.