Xiaomi’s phones aren’t coming to the U.S. or UK anytime soon | Android Central

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Xiaomi’s phones aren’t coming to the U.S. or UK anytime soon | Android Central

Xiaomi doesn’t want to jeopardise its position in Asian markets by stretching itself too thin.

Erstwhile Xiaomi VP Hugo Barra announced back in August 2016 that the company would make its debut in the U.S. market "in the near future." We haven’t heard much about the Chinese manufacturer’s global plans since then, but it looks like customers in Western countries will have to wait awhile to get their hands on Xiaomi’s phones.

In an interview with Engadget, Xiaomi’s current global VP Wang Xiang said that there are no plans to launch the the Mi 6 in the U.S. or European markets, with Xiaomi instead prioritizing the 30 countries it currently serves:

Even though we don’t sell [in the US or Western Europe], we feel very sorry for not serving them well. What we’re after is a mass market, a massive impact, as opposed to a premium, elite thing. We want innovation for everyone.

Xiaomi faced supply constraints in its home market during Q4 2016, and for now, the focus will be on building momentum in Asian markets. Wang also mentioned that Xiaomi’s engineers are "superbusy" and wouldn’t be able to undertake the rigorous testing that accompanies a U.S. launch to ensure that its phones work on all major carriers.

Xiaomi has a small online presence in the U.S. through which it sells the Mi Box and accessories like audio products and power banks, but the company isn’t keen on selling phones directly to customers, like OnePlus and Honor. Wang called it a "hot-headed" move, stating that the manufacturer does not want "short-term gain" that could tarnish the brand’s perception. Instead, the company will release a handset in the U.S. and other Western markets once it’s fully prepared to do so and has set up a robust distribution and after-sales network:

There’s a Chinese saying: ‘Haste makes waste.’ You need to focus with patience and wait for the perfect opportunity.

Following LeEco’s capitulation, it is understandable to see Xiaomi taking a cautious approach. That said, by delaying its U.S. launch even further, Xiaomi is potentially conceding the market to its rivals. OnePlus has picked up a loyal userbase in the last three years, and Honor has made inroads into the U.S. and European markets over the course of the last twelve months.

Wang has mentioned that Xiaomi will make one or two phones with global LTE connectivity — like the Mi Note 2 — every year, as well as a successor to the futuristic Mi Mix, but customers in Western markets will have to resort to unofficial channels to get their hands on them.


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