Xiaomi’s Indian fanbase lined up in the streets for more than two hours just to get a glimpse of the company’s latest mobile phone offering.
According to the Wall Street Journal, more than 10,000 Indians applied for 1,600 tickets to watch Xiaomi unveil the company’s latest high-end phone, the Mi 4i.
Seeking to replicate their success in the Chinese market, the Mi 4i is the first phone aimed at overseas consumers in India. It packs features like a big battery to compensate for the patchy electricity supply in many parts of the country.
While Xiaomi remains unknown to large swathes of the population, the company is working tirelessly to build up fan clubs across the Indian subcontinent, hoping to reproduce the level of fandom the brand garners in their home market.
Hugo Barra, Xiaomi’s Global Vice President, was greeted by an enthusiastic crowd as he took to the stage to show off the phone’s design features, with the crowd of mostly young men screaming on announcement of the 12,999 rupee ($205) price.
“I can die for Xiaomi products,” said Raghab Goyal, a 17-year-old commerce student who drove seven hours from the state of Punjab to attend the event.
While Xiaomi has taken the Chinese smartphone market by storm, many see the brand as nothing more than a pale imitation of Apple. Last October, Apple’s senior vice president of design Jony Ive said of Xiaomi’s products: “it is theft and it is lazy.”
By Dominic Jackson
[Image via Wall Street Journal]