Buoyed by the warm reception they have received in countries like India last year and Brazil this year, Chinese smartphone maker Xiaomi has decided that it would try its luck in Africa, after having already opened shop in countries like Malaysia and Philippines, alongside a number of other countries, mostly in Asia. Now however, in accordance with previously heard rumors, Xiaomi will step into Africa for the first time and start its business in as many as 50 sub-Saharan countries from as early as September this year; this, according to an article published on Forbes, the report also states that Mobile In Africa Limited has bagged the rights to be the sole distributor of Xiaomi’s products throughout the region.
Speaking about the tie-up with one of the most widely watched up and coming smartphone vendors in the world, the president of Mobile In Africa, and the former executive director of Apple distributor Core Group, Mr. RJ Van Spaandonk, said that his company will set up online stores in 14 countries to start off with, where the entry-level Redmi 2 and the premium Mi 4 will be offered for sale. While the Redmi 2 is expected to be priced around the 2000 Rand ($155) mark, the Mi 4 is expected to carry a price-tag which is equivalent to about 4000 Rand ($310). Elaborating on why Mobile In Africa chose to work with Xiaomi, Mr. Spaandonk said, “I think Xiaomi is currently one of the most exciting mobile brands. It is very well suited to the needs and income levels of the emerging middle classes in Africa”. He went on to add, “There is a great need for mobile technology in Africa that is of top-notch quality but still affordable. What I found in Xiaomi is a company, and a business model, that can accommodate the needs of African consumers”.
Xiaomi has been expanding aggressively to foreign territories in recent times, and although its journey has often been riddled with legal obstacles, the company has largely been able to draw a positive response from enthusiasts, who’ve tended to lap up its products in record time. It remains to be seen how successful the company will be in its venture in Africa, but if Xiaomi’s success in markets like India and Brazil is anything to go by, it might be difficult to stop the juggernaut from rolling on in the continent.