Xiaomi to Launch Another Product in US in October; Smartphone Launches in the “Near Future”
Xiaomi, the OEM that has caused major upheaval in the Indian smartphone scene in the budget segments, now has its eyes set on the USA.
As reported by Bloomberg after an interview with Hugo Barra, Vice President of International Operations at Xiaomi, the company is all set to make an appearance in the U.S. smartphone market “in the near future”. Their sales model will be similar to the ones employed in India and other markets, with most of the strategy revolving around online sales and social media marketing tactics.
While smartphone launches for the US remain under the broad “near future”, Xiaomi will launch another non-smartphone product in the month of October in the USA. In June 2015, Xiaomi did make an appearance in the US market (and other European countries) through its Mi.com store which sells accessories like power-banks and earphones, so it will be interesting to see what the company plans to launch this time around.
US seems like a logical next step for Xiaomi as their home turf in China faces extremely heavy competition and stagnating growth in the smartphone market, thanks to efforts from Huawei and Apple. Even in India, though the company is performing well, it does face a lot of competition from domestic as well foreign companies like Vivo, Huawei and Oppo amongst others. When the company does enter the US, it will be directly competing on Apple’s home ground, battling an established retail model with its online tactics. A shift in strategy will definitely be needed, especially when you factor in other variables such as the existence of powerful carrier subsidy systems along with heightened quality expectations and after-sales services.
On the other hand, despite the heavy competition, Xiaomi is now in a much better position to make an entry. It’s acquisition of some 1,500-odd patent from Microsoft gives it a larger scope in avoiding potential legal tangles over intellectual property. With affordable flagships gaining popularity with vast acceptance of the OnePlus 3 and the ZTE Axon 7 as competitors against premium flagships like the Samsung Galaxy Note 7, Xiaomi will have a better chance of convincing consumers to switch brand loyalty in lieu of a strong product.
Only time will tell if Xiaomi can make it to the US market in a sustainable and profitable manner. For now, we eagerly await the entry and can’t wait to see what they start off with.
What are your thoughts on Xiaomi’s entry into the US market? Which product would you like to see make an appearance first? Let us know in the comments below!