NEW DELHI, March 12 (Reuters) - Chinese smartphone maker Xiaomi Inc said on Thursday it will open 100 stores in India this year to help consumers in the world's third-largest smartphone market "experience" the company's devices, but will not sell them at these stores.
Xiaomi, whose low-priced but feature-rich smartphones have made it the biggest smartphone vendor in China, entered India in July and sells its phones primarily through flash sales on online retailer Flipkart.com.
The 'service and experience stores' would be set up over 500 to 1,000 square feet and will launch in cities including Hyderabad, Chennai and Bangalore in the first week of April, Manu Jain, Xiaomi's India head, told reporters in New Delhi at the launch of the company's latest budget smartphone.
Though the company started selling its Redmi Note 4G handsets through outlets of the country's top carrier Bharti Airtel Ltd in January, it is not in "active discussions with any other offline partner", Jain said. (Reporting by Aditi Shah in New Delhi; Writing by Aman Shah; Editing by Sunil Nair)