Chinese tech major Xiaomi on Monday said it has partnered with Hyderabad-based Radiant Appliances as it ramps up production of its smart TVs in the country.
The move comes ahead of Xiaomi's foray into the premium QLED TV segment in India.
Xiaomi India Category Lead (Smart TV) Eashwar Nilakantan said when the company had launched its smart TVs in 2018, there were two key trends - Internet tariffs were getting cheaper and speed was faster, and there was a proliferation of content.
"Since then, we have already sold over 5 million smart TVs and continue to be No. 1 in the segment. Last year, we started with 4K TVs and that has also seen strong growth. In the pandemic, content consumption has gone up drastically and people are also looking for movie theatre-like experiences at home," he told PTI.
With the QLED TV, Xiaomi wants to offer premium viewing experience to customers, he added.
While Nilakantan did not disclose details of the pricing, he said the first 55-inch QLED TV will be launched on December 16.
QLED (Quantum Light-Emitting Diode) TVs are like regular LED TVs but offer better colour and brightness than LED. Nilakantan said the QLED TVs will be manufactured in India like its other smart TVs.
"We had Dixon as a contract manufacturing partner for our TVs and recently, we signed up with another partner - Radiant Appliances and this will further augment our capacity as we start offering our 'Made in India' QLED TVs," he added. He, however, did not comment on the production capacity.
He noted that the QLED market in India is at a nascent stage, accounting for about 0.5 per cent (about 60,000 units) of the 12 million units TV market in India.
"The QLED TV for India has been built ground up here, keeping in mind the needs of customers here... We are hopeful that we will be able to double the market of QLED TVs in the next one year," Nilakantan added.
A number of smartphone players such as Realme, OnePlus, Micromax and Motorola have added smart TVs to their product portfolios to compete against giants like Samsung, LG and Sony in the TV segment.
According to Counterpoint Research, shipments of TVs in India grew 15 per cent annually to reach the highest-ever 15 million units in 2019, and the growth was mainly driven by budget smart TVs, with 32-inch TVs the leading segment.
The report had noted that smart TV was the fastest-growing segment, growing 25 per cent year-on-year.
The smart TV market in India was mostly driven by brands like Xiaomi, Samsung, and emerging tail brands such as TCL, Vu and others, which are leveraging their growing channel presence both online and offline to target new users and upgrade users, the report added.