Saturday, 19 January, 2019

Xiaomi to enter the U.S. smartphone market by early 2019

Talk of a $100 billion valuation for Xiaomi would make it vastly overvalued Talk of a $100 billion valuation for Xiaomi would make it vastly overvalued
Theresa Hayes | 06 March, 2018, 08:54

It was the fourth-largest smartphone manufacturer by market share in China a year ago, according to Counterpoint.

Chinese smartphone manufacturer Xiaomi has wanted to sell in the U.S for some time, and Chairman Lei Jun has revealed that they hope to make this happen by the end of 2018 or early 2019.

Rivals Huawei and ZTE have managed to enter the lucrative American market before Xiaomi, and are now facing stiff political pressure. To be clear, the brand already sells quite a few products in the nation like an Android set-top box, headphones, a 360-degree camera, and a battery pack.

To that last point, Huawei's plans to enter the US phone market backed by carriers like AT&T and Verizon were torpedoed by the government, which feared that the company would install backdoors on its smartphones fueling spying fears. For starters, Xiaomi isn't exactly a household name in the USA - especially in a market that is dominated by names like Apple and Samsung, and to a lesser extent Motorola and LG.

Recent trade tension between the U.S. government and Chinese companies has seen United States legislators push back against Huawei and ZTE, citing spying concerns. Having access to wireless carriers to sell smartphones is critical in the US market, which Huawei CEO Richard Yu acknowledged earlier this year at CES.

China-based Xiaomi has provided more details surrounding plans to launch its first smartphone in the US.

Though Xiaomi already sells connected home entertainment accessories like Android-powered set-top box Mi Box, headphones, camera, Mi Home Security camera, Mi power banks, Mi Bluetooth speakers, Mi electric scooters and Mi Robot builder (toy) in the U.S., the mobile business will be quite a big challenge and particularly its Chinese origin will make it hard for Xiaomi to forge partnership with local telecom carriers.