Chinese mobile phone manufacturer Xiaomi will begin selling its Xiaomi Redmi 2 and Xiaomi M4 smartphones in a number of African countries, including Kenya, in mid-November, according to a report in the Wall Street Journal yesterday (Monday 2 November).
Xiaomi, whose name translates as “little rice” has been working on expanding into the African market for some time.
In 2014, they werethe top smartphone manufacturer in China and the third largest smartphone manufacturer in the world.
However, last year, Huawei claimed the third largest global manufacturer spot from Xiaomi, and have not only launched quick selling flagship devices like the Honor 7, it is also selling the new stock-Android Nexus 6P in collaboration with search engine giant Google.
While Huawei have managed to break into the US market through their collaboration with Google, Xiaomi is not yet in a space where it could follow suit.
To offset this lack of opportunity in the United States, Xiaomi is working with Mobile in Africa Group to distribute devices in the participating countries which as well as Kenya also include South Africa and Nigeria.
“We see Africa as the next frontier for smartphone growth and we are excited to be partnering with MIA Group to offer consumers in these three countries our high-quality smartphones at amazing prices,” said Raymond Tian, Xiaomi’s Global Strategy Director.
MIA Group president RJ van Spaandonk said the company were “delighted to bring the Redmi 2 and Mi 4 to key countries in Sub-Saharan Africa.”
“We’ve seen a strong response to the products based on preliminary discussions with partners, and we look forward to providing consumers with these new high-end smartphone options at incredible price points”, he said.
In addition to China, Xiaomi already sells devices in markets such as India, Taiwan, Singapore, Malaysia and the Philippines and there were reports in January suggesting they had plans to expand to Brazil and Russia in 2015.