Internet penetration in India quite low
Xiaomi has adopted a different marketing model in its home market China (FXI), where it has largely relied on online channels to market its products. This has helped Xiaomi save on sales and marketing costs, allowing it to sell its products at a better price than its competitors.
India (EPI), however, is a different market. In India, a company needs to run traditional marketing campaigns because Internet penetration there is quite low. According to a report from Internet Live Stats, and as the chart below shows, Internet proliferation in India is at only 19%. In contrast, penetration in China is at a healthy 46%, and even better in other countries such as Japan, Brazil, Russia, and the US.
Apple aiming to double its retail reach in India
According to a Twitter (TWTR) tweet from Xiaomi’s global vice president, Hugo Barra, the company recently released its first print ad in India.
Meanwhile, Apple (AAPL) has signed a deal with yet another smartphone distributor, Optiemus Group, in an effort to extend its retail reach in India. According to a report from the Times of India, Apple has plans to double iPhone sales in India in each of the next three years.
According to a report from Counterpoint, Apple’s iPhone 6 and Microsoft’s (MSFT) Lumia had a great March-ending quarter. Apple is close to achieving a big milestone—shipping 1 million units to India within the first six months of the iPhone 6 launch. Microsoft Lumia shipments, meanwhile, grew by a year-over-year rate of 20% in India.