Surprise! Xiaomi Ends Exclusivity With Flipkart, Now Available On Snapdeal, Amazon
Now this is quite a surprising move – Xiaomi has ended the exclusive availability of their Mi smartphones on Flipkart. Going forward, Xiaomi phones will be available on Snapdeal and Amazon as well.
Xiaomi did not give any specific reason for this decision, but it seems they are trying to spread their wings and Flipkart may have become the bottleneck for them. Over last month, they have been busy forging various offline partnerships as well, including availability of Redmi Note 4G at select Airtel stores. Last week, they partnered with one of the largest offline mobile retail chain in India, The Mobile Store.
Apart from this, they have now started selling Mi smartphone accessories on their own site as well!
Xiaomi has not ended the partnership with Flipkart completely, just that they are not exclusive any more. Even Amazon and Snapdeal will have it along with Flipkart. It is not clear whether their once-in-a-week-flash-sale model will be available on all three platforms or will it remain on Flipkart only.
Why this move?
In our view, Xiaomi now feels that they have created branding and hype about their smartphones and other devices that they can spread their wings. When they first introduced their phones in India, consumers did not know them, and at the same time, they had limited availability of their phones. Back then partnering with a single site was probably the way forward for them. They probably also wanted to test the waters in India, as it was for the first time that they were introducing any of their products in India.
However, given the success they have met here, it probably is apt for Xiaomi to approach Indian market aggressively. Their another Chinese counterpart, Gionee has taken completely opposite route and yet have been phenomenally successful. Xiaomi too understands that Indian market has huge potential, and getting tied up with just one online retailer may not be the best move forward.
According to estimates, Xiaomi has sold just over 1 million smartphones since June last year, and they must be targeting atleast 2.5-3 million unit sales this year. To achieve that, they had to move beyond Flipkart, which is exactly what they have done!