Hugo Barra is in Barcelona for Mobile World Congress (MWC) 2015 and in a Q&A session on Tuesday, the Xiaomi Global Vice President said that India is now company’s biggest overseas market, second worldwide only to its homeland China.
Barra revealed this when asked if Xiaomi plans to launch its phones in the US. He said at the moment there were no plans to launch Mi mobiles in US and other markets where phones are largely subsidised by operators. The company will continue to focus its attention on markets like India, Brazil, and Indonesia, where buying a quality smartphone typically costs “several months’ salary” of an average individual. The model of selling high-end specs at ‘close to BoM cost’ has served the company well in these regions, and may not translated to other regions, he added.
Xiaomi recently announced its plans to launch the Mi.com store in the US offering not phones, but company accessories. On Tuesday, Barra said the online store will soon be headed to Europe with a US-like model, where it will sell Mi accessories like the Mi Band, Mi Headphones, and the Mi Power Bank.
Barra, an ex-Google employee, also talked about the strengths of online stores in connecting companies directly to customers, saying traditional distribution models can add up to 30 percent in overheads.