Xiaomi recently said that it intends to become the number one smartphone manufacturer within 5-10 years. The company is already ranked third in terms of global smartphone sales, so that may not be a completely unachievable goal.
Xiaomi is already number one in China, but it wants to conquer another 1 billion-person market before it dominates the world, and that market is India. To that extent, the company has recently partnered with the Bharti Airtel carrier to launch its Redmi Note and Redmi Note 4G smartphones for RS9000 ($145) and RS10,000 ($162), respectively.
Data plans represent only 12 percent of Bharti Airtel's revenues right now, but the company hopes to push that percentage to 40 or 50, to be more in line with carriers in the U.S. or other countries with more developed wireless networks.
The Redmi Note 4G can help achieve that goal if it becomes popular enough and people use more data on it. As we've reported before, the larger the screen size, the more people interact with their devices.
Hugo Barra, a former Android executive, who's now leading Xiaomi's global efforts for expansion, believes the Redmi Note 4G and Airtel are made for each other:
“With its long-lasting battery life and a large 5.5-inch screen among many other outstanding features, all for an amazing price, I believe Redmi Note will keep the momentum going in India," Barra said in a statement to Re/code.
The Redmi Note and Redmi Note 4G both come with 5.5" 720p screens, 2 GB of RAM, 8 GB of storage, microSD support, 13MP rear cameras, 5MP front cameras, 3,200 mAh batteries, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.0 and GPS.
The phones have different processors. The Redmi Note has a slightly higher-end 1.7 GHz octa-core chip from MediaTek (MTK6592) and a Mali-450MP4 GPU, while the Redmi Note 4G comes with a quad-core 1.6 GHz Snapdragon 400. The former is 3G-only and dual SIM, while the other is 4G (as the name implies) and single SIM. Both devices will run Android 4.2.2.
The Redmi Note will be available through flash sales on Flipkart, on December 2. However, customers will have to register for the first flash sale on Flipkart after 6pm IST on Tuesday, November 25. The amount of available units hasn't been announced yet. The Redmi Note 4G will also be available in six cities from Airtel stores in the second half of December, for which they'll need to register separately.