Xiaomi introduces vending machines for its smartphones and accessories in India

In a first in India, Chinese smartphone maker Xiaomi has unveiled its first ‘Mi Express’ kiosk in the country, in Bengaluru. Similar to what a food vending machine looks like, this vending machine allows customers to buy Xiaomi’s smartphones and accessories with a touch of a few buttons and get the product instantly.

Xiaomi India head and global Vice President Manu Kumar Jain inaugurated the first Mi Express kiosk at Manyata Tech Park in Bengaluru. The Chinese smartphone maker announced that more kiosks will soon be set up starting with metro cities.

According to the company, customers can pay for the smartphones and accessories through cash, cards or UPI. There is a touch screen for navigation, allowing customers to select the device or accessory they want to purchase. Pricing of the products, the company says, will be similar to the prices of its products on Mi.com and Mi Home stores. These kiosks will be open from 10am-8pm and will be installed in public places such as shopping malls, tech parks, metro stations, airports, etc.

The vending machine concept is a first for any smartphone maker in India, which so far has only seen food vending machines in metros. However, this concept has reportedly been in China for a year now.

“Mi Express Kiosks serve as a highly effective new retail initiative for consumers and Mi Fans to easily access and buy Xiaomi products instantly in offline markets,” the company said in a statement.

Xiaomi, which launched in India as an online-only brand, soon began penetrating the offline market. In 2017, it launched Mi Homes, which were its exclusive brand stores. In 2018, it launched Mi Stores, which are smaller versions of Mi Home outlets.

Xiaomi has been aggressively growing its presence in India and is currently the highest selling smartphone brand in the country. In the first quarter of 2019, Xiaomi maintained its leadership position, growing at 8.1% year-on-year.

Its recent flagship Redmi Note 7 series surpassed two million sales, two months since its launch. The Redmi Note 7 series includes Redmi Note 7 and Redmi Note 7 Pro.