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Xiaomi Partners With Bharti Airtel to Launch Low-Cost 4G "Phablet" in India

The 4G Redmi will be around $160, with an even less expensive 3G version to follow.

Xiaomi

Xiaomi said Monday that it will launch its first 4G device in India by year’s end through a partnership with Indian carrier Bharti Airtel.

The Redmi Note, with its 5.5-inch screen, will sell for Rs 9,999 ($161) with sales beginning in late December at Airtel stores. A dual-SIM 3G version of the “phablet,” which sells for about $145, will go on sale Dec. 2 through Indian e-commerce site Flipkart.

Speaking at the Code/Mobile event last month, Airtel product chief Anand Chandrasekaran said that availability of 4G devices will be key to data plans taking off in India. He noted that data accounts for only about 12 percent of Airtel’s revenue, compared to 40 percent or 50 percent among carriers in markets such as the United States.

“Part of my journey is getting that 12 percent to 40 or 50, through 4G and apps and other use cases users love,” Chandrasekaran said onstage. In just the past month, that number has grown to around 15 percent, Chandrasekaran said.

Hugo Barra, the former Android executive who now leads global efforts for Xiaomi, said Monday that the Redmi Note is tailor-made for India’s 4G network.

“With its long-lasting battery life and a large 5.5-inch screen among many other outstanding features, all for an amazing price, I believe Redmi Note will keep the momentum going in India,” Barra said in a statement.

China’s Xiaomi has been on a tear of late, becoming the world’s third-largest phone maker, according to IDC.

This article originally appeared on Recode.net.