Xiaomi fans, brace yourselves for heartbreaking news. The Chinese OEM, has confirmed that the Mi Note 2, Mi 5S and Mi Mix will not be launched in India.
The news comes via an India Today report, which quotes the company’s VP.
This is what Hugo Barra, had to say about the Xiaomi’s new flagships not being launched in India.
“As a company we have been around for two years in India. We still have a very small portfolio (there). We have one flagship per year and this year it is the Xiaomi Mi 5. Next year we will have another flagship phone. The flagship phone market in India is still very small… we want to keep flagship portfolio very tight in India so the new phones are only for the China market”
Barra’s claim is truly perplexing, and should disappoint the company’s fans in India . Is he even aware of the OnePlus 3’s user base in the Country, and the fact the people buy it even though it is a bit pricier than the Mi 5? Xiaomi’s absurd decision in launching only the 3GB RAM variant (with 32GB storage) and a price which is very close to that of the OnePlus 3 (6GB RAM/64GB storage), show just how well Xiaomi’s understanding of the Indian flagship smartphone market is.
Don’t get me wrong, Xiaomi is probably the best when it comes to the mid-range or entry level market, but it has no clue about the flagship market.
Here are a few other reasons why you shouldn’t be worried about the Mi Note 2, Mi 5S and Mi Mix not being launched in India.
Xiaomi is notoriously slow with its updates, even for flagship devices like the Mi 4, which only got Android 6.0 Marshmallow in the first quarter of 2016, directly updating the phone from Android 4.4 KitKat, on which it was stuck with for 2 years. There was never an official Lolliop update, and the company’s moderators at its forums claimed that MIUI is just as good as the latest version of Android. They were clearly not aware of the benefits which the latest API offered (Camera v2 API for example). It is evident company does not understand the value of providing proper OS updates, which is what makes a flagship product a truly powerful device. This is actually what won OnePlus its fan base, truly impressive hardware with near stock UI, and updates (with a very large developer community).
Even the Redmi Note 3 only got Android 6.0 Marshmallow, after the lower end Redmi 3S Prime did. And Xiaomi’s heavily iOS inspired MIUI skin, is horrendously laggy at times (very noticeable when you compare it with a different ROM like Cyanogenmod). MIUI also comes with bloatware such as Clean Master and a highly supsicious AnalyticsCore.apk, which was reverse engineered by a hacker, who claimed that the app used to send the device’s critical data (IMEI, Mac, etc) to Xiaomi’s servers without the user’s knowledge. He even suggested that Xiaomi can silently install any signed APK on the user’s device. (source)
And then there is the hideous process of applying for unlocking the bootloader on Xiaomi’s devices. You have to wait for a few days (or weeks) for Xiaomi to send you an SMS (in my case there was none but it did get approved), to get the request approved, after which you need to download a PC application, and sign in to it and follow some steps to the unlock the device.
I own a Redmi Note 3 (which I love), but personally I couldn’t care less that the Mi note 2 and Mi Mix, won’t be launched in India, despite the impressive technical specifications. This is because of the company’s history, of how it has ignored the Country for its high-end products. Barra’s own words, say that the Chinese OEM does not see India as a flagship market, where the OnePlus thrives to impress. You are better off with a OnePlus 3, as it is a much superior device anyway.