Xiaomi is Testing Devices in US Wireless Carrier Labs
Xiaomi has become a well-known smartphone OEM in countries like China, India, Russia, Mexico and the Middle East. These are the markets where they currently push their smartphones and they are working to get their smartphones sold in Poland, Vietnam, Thailand plus some Latin American markets soon. The causal smartphone owner in the United States likely will have never heard of them, but us enthusiasts have had them on our radar for years.
Just about every time someone in the United States interviews Hugo Barra, they inevitably ask when the company will start to sell smartphones in the country. Barra has said that the United States is certainly on their list of markets to expand into, but also frequently pointed out the number of hurdles the company would have to be ready for ahead of time. These hurdles range from patents to distribution to servicing centers and marketing. They realize it will be a wasted effort if they don’t have plans for these things before launch.
This week we’re seeing a report that sheds some new light on this move though. Engadget is speculating that Xiaomi could launch their smartphones in the United States as early as 2017. There’s still a lot of work they have to do between now and then, but Xiaomi seems to believe they are getting close. Barra reveals that his team is currently in multiple carrier labs throughout the United States so they can test their smartphones.
The cellular bands that US wireless carriers use aren’t the same ones that the rest of the world uses. So not only does a phone have to support that band, but they also have to pass strict compatibility tests before they’re allowed to be sold on the carrier’s network. Assuming everything goes smoothly, Xiaomi will likely have their phones sold directly from the carriers as opposed as directly to the customer (like we see with OnePlus).Source: Engadget
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