en Xiaomi unveiled the Mi6 last week, notably absent was any mention of a U.S. release. ile the China-based company launched its first stateside product late last year, the Android TV-based Mi Box, it has yet to debut a hset for the U.S. market. But Xiaomi isn’t giving up on the dream.
Xiaomi’s senior vice president of strategic cooperation ng Xiang said in an interview with CNet that the company is taking its time with its global expansion, despite recent hints that it was attempting to break into the U.S. sooner than later. He told the publication that Xiaomi is hoping to launch its first hset “in two years, if not sooner,” so it would seem that U.S. buyers will have to wait until the Mi8 to get their hs on one.
Xiaomi’s former global head, Hugo Barra, had teased a more ambitious plan for the company’s expansion, but after a splashy event at CES this year, Xiaomi still found itself on the outside of the U.S. market looking in. Other Chinese companies such as Huawei ZTE have had limited success with U.S. releases, but partnering with carriers has proven to be a big barrier to availability.
However, Xiaomi may be further along than they are letting on. st year, Barra suggested that the Mi5 was already being tested on U.S. networks, but it’s unclear how official they were. Overseas phones operate on a different b than U.S. carriers, so manufacturers need to pass a series of lab tests before they can be offered for sale through AT&T or T-Mobile stores.
At any rate, Xiaomi is clearly interested in becoming a larger player in the increasingly crowded smartphone game. As ng said, “ don’t want to make a rom decision, oh say, here’s the Mi 6, let’s try the market, if it doesn’t work let’s just leave,” ng said. “No, we want to be well prepared make a boom in those markets.”
Xiaomi, don’t tell me: The U.S. market is the toughest nut to crack for China-based phone makers, so we won’t be surprised if we never see a Xiaomi hset. ile the company is taking the right approach by biding its time exploring all options, the fact remains that none of its mainl competitors have been able to hit on a winning formula for success, especially for higher-end hsets. rt of it is the tremendous competition from Apple Samsung, but there’s also the carrier compliance. Unlocked phones may be nice, but if they aren’t being sold by the major carriers, adoption is that much more difficult. Still, we’d love to see a Xiaomi phone work on U.S. networks, even if we have to wait until the Mi8.