“Welcome to the Dark Side” reads Xiaomi’s opener on the Chinese smartphone maker’s website, announcing it is finally bringing a dark-colored body for its mid-range smartphone, the Mi 4i, to India -- the market the company used to springboard the phone's worldwide launch.
Xiaomi’s phones, for supply chain purposes, have mostly been available with the standard white body, whereas many in India prefer black or dark grey. Hugo Barra, the company’s head of overseas operations, has said that making the black body, for instance, is a more involved process.
The company announced on Wednesday it was holding a sale of the Mi 4i -- which was globally launched from India in April -- with a dark grey body. The sale is on June 16, but registration this time is on the company’s website, and not via Flipkart, the smartphone maker’s exclusive online sales partner in India. And for that, one must either have or create a Mi account.
The Mi 4i was launched to great fanfare in India, at an event reminiscent of an iPhone launch, with people standing in long lines just to get into the launch venue in New Delhi.
No other smartphone brand has managed to generate as much hype in India as Xiaomi. However, there have been plenty of complaints of overheating, for instance, and expert reviewers have also said that while the Mi 4i offers great hardware for its price tag (12,999 rupees or about $200), it is not a phone for power users, who would be better off with the pricier Mi4.