Xiaomi, China’s top smartphone maker, has all but confirmed it will launch its next entry-level phone and its first tablet in India in an addictive word puzzle it’s been running for some days now. On Monday, the company sent out invites to the launch event set for Thursday in New Delhi. The word puzzle involves identifying words in a grid of letters, and each word is a clue to what the products might be.
Words including Nvidia, Tegra and Kepler show Xiaomi will launch the 7.9-inch Mi Pad, which runs the K1 graphics processor from Nvidia. Meanwhile, clues such as Snapdragon, "dual SIM" and "quad core" give away the much-awaited Redmi 2, also known as Hongmi 2, which Xiaomi’s fans in India are watching out for as the logical replacement for the Redmi 1s.
Xiaomi posted the word puzzle March 5 as a new way for registering people interested in preordering the devices. On offer is a chance to win “priority passes” in return for posting the puzzle on their Facebook timelines and finding at least three words and then tagging three Facebook friends to try out the puzzle.
The puzzle, which rearranges the letters each time the page is loaded, also throws up the words Books and Movies, hinting at some sort of attractive content options that will be accessible via the devices.
Xiaomi needs to keep up its blazing momentum in India, the company’s largest market after China, if it is to hit its target of selling 100 million phones this year -- although CEO Lei Jun has already said 80 million units is probably more realistic.
The entertaining word puzzle also hides words that describe various features of the Mi Pad and the Redmi 2. For instance, both devices have “expandable” memory slots that can take “micro SD” cards. “Wide angle” hints at the performance of the 8MP primary camera that goes on both the Redmi 2 and the Mi Pad, and the 5MP selfie shooter that the tablet is equipped with.
Finally, as the 4G networks of various carriers in India slowly start expanding, Xiaomi fans also will welcome the fact that the 4.7-inch Redmi 2 supports LTE.
The Redmi 2 was priced at 699 yuan (about $112) in China, whereas the MiPad is priced about $240 for the 16GB version and $275 for the 64GB model. Prices in India will be revealed Thursday.