Xiaomi to Hold Event in San Francisco
Chinese giant Xiaomi has been the source of rumors and speculation about a possible expansion for close to a year now. The company focuses its business strategy on fostering e-commerce through the online selling of cheap-yet-great Android smartphones. Xiaomi has been subject to immense growth in recent times, with last year seeing a triplification in sales that made the company rightfully earn the third place in the global smartphone market, with the latest IDC figures putting them with a share of 5.3%. This kind of success turned them from just another start-up into the most valuable one, now a company valued at $46 billion as of the very ends of 2014.
While this relatively new player Xiaomi is undoubtedly a monolithic figure in the industry, western markets have often not seen its impact, nor recognize its brand. This is because, like most Chinese OEMs, it hasn’t penetrated into this segment just yet. The company is 5 years old but since its incursion into the spotlight, speculation surrounded whether they would target the US market – one of the most important ones for the business.
Xiaomi had just very recently teased the world about a stronger international expansion this month, and according to AndroidHeadlines’ sources at Xiaomi, the company will hold an event on February 12 in San Francisco, California. Details of what exactly will surface at that event are still not certain, however, but it is expected that it would either be an announcement about the initiation into the American market, or it could be one regarding R&D facilities to be installed on American ground. It could also simply be a teaser for the future, in which case Americans would be left salivating for their hardware for a while longer – but at least they’d know it is coming.
Xiaomi’s expansion has been markedly aggressive. What was expected, however, was that other rising markets like Brazil and India would be the main targets, especially given the latest controversy with the Indian courts that set them back in some aspects. In December 2014, it was reported that a court forced the company to stop selling its phones in India due to patent infringement, but the case was ongoing for three years and had suspiciously just finished during the acceleration of Xiaomi’s influence in that territory. This being the perfect market for Xiaomi’s business strategy, they began working hard towards solving it by a court hearing shortly after. Latest information suggests they’ll move from online retailers to official shops in this segment soon as well.
Despite some controversy over a map, Xiaomi’s future empire looks like more of a possibility every day. While they do offer great products at great prices, at XDA we can’t help but feel hesitant to fully embrace a company with reiterated GPLv2 violations, something we discussed in an earlier report. Nevertheless, Google’s mission statement when acquiring Motorola was “better phones at lower prices”, and Xiaomi seems to be complying with this original Google vision – so it could be beneficial for consumers at the end of the day. Let’s just hope they are more transparent with their source codes in the future to avoid any further controversy.
We’ll report more on the day of the event to keep you updated on the latest Xiaomi news.
What do you think of Xiaomi? Would you want them to hit the United States any time soon? Leave us your thoughts in the comments!