In an interview with Engadget, Xiaomi’s Senior VP Wang Xiang explains why the company is not ready to sell phones in the US just yet.
Xiaomi’s phones are often associated with great build quality and attractive price tags; for a lot of us, however, these phones remain just something that you read about online. That’s because while the Chinese electronics company has spread over 30 different markets in the last six years, availability in North America and Europe is still pretty much non-existent. Unfortunately for those in the US, Xiaomi still isn’t ready to launch its phones there. Instead, the company says it will continue to focus on developing mass markets.
In an interview with Engadget, Wang Xiang, the company’s Senior Vice President, confirmed that despite Hugo Barra’s previous hinting of a possible smartphone launch in the US this year, Xiaomi simply has too much on its plate to expand into more “elite” and “premium” markets like the US and Western Europe:
What we’re after is a mass market, a massive impact, as opposed to a premium, elite thing. We want innovation for everyone. Therefore we are in no hurry to serve the developed markets.
There is also the question of carriers: as many of us are already aware, and as we’ve discussed in our previous post, carriers are still the gatekeepers of the US smartphone market (see: LeEco’s troubles). While it is true that companies like OnePlus have penetrated the US market to an extent by selling directly to consumers, Wang says this would be a “hot-headed” move that could jeopardize the company’s relationship with US carriers, something that could become very important later on.
However, Wang understands why US consumers are frustrated:
Even though we don’t sell [in the US or Western Europe], we feel very sorry for not serving them well.
Unfortunately, it looks like if you want a Xiaomi smartphone, you’ll just have to take the unofficial route as per usual. At least for now.