Published in Mobiles

Xiaomi is in no hurry to go to the US

by on22 August 2016

Dragging its feet

While there is some interest in Xiaomi’s smartphones in the US, the company  continues to drag its feet in a Western expansion.

Company VP of International Hugo Barra, formerly a Google exec, has said that Xiaomi still has the US in its sights, but it is in no rush to get there and wants to time things right, or risk actually doing more harm than good to Xiaomi’s image. After all you don't want to arrive and be named as part of a Chinese plot to overthrow democracy do you?

Barra has confirmed such plans in the past, but, so far, "when" has never been identified and some observers think the glacial pace business model for the the US is a bit risky. Smartphone sales are starting to dry up and Xiaomi needs to be everywhere to make money..

However the move is entirely logical. If Xiaomi is still focusing its resources on markets in China, India, and South East Asia, where there is a bigger opportunity for growth and profit it does not need the cut-throat competition that the US market will bring.

In the US, Xiaomi will be competing head on against Samsung and Apple on their home ground. The US smartphone landscape is still controlled by carrier subsidies and purchases, something that Huawei, ZTE, and OPPO have not had much luck defeating. Their business plan has been to convince consumers to switch to unlocked devices which does not work very well.

Then there is the small matter of patent systems differing between the US and China. Xiaomi has a patent deal with Microsoft which would go a long way to sorting out its problems.

The danger though is that Xiaomi's rival Chinese manufacturers might starting to make bigger strides in the US market and it might soon find itself finding itself with a pile of left-overs.

Last modified on 22 August 2016
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