Xiaomi announces entry in the US market with accessories and power banks
Chinese smartphone manufacturer Xiaomi has announced its plan to enter the U.S. market but the company has disappointed many by announcing that the launch of smartphones in the U.S. market could take much longer. Xiaomi has become the market leader in the Chinese market within a span of few years and has outsmarted Samsung and Apple in the local market.
Xiaomi announced that the company will launch power banks, fitness bands, accessories and headphones in the U.S. market. Some technology experts believe that Xiaomi plans to test the waters in the U.S. market before it launches its smartphones. Xiaomi has been expanding in many other developing countries and the company has managed to generate enough demand for its products to be sold under flash sales.
Xiaomi offers feature-packed handsets at a lower price compared to the competition and this is a major factor in its growth. For few markets, Xiaomi has registered heavy demand which the company was not able to cater to, due to limited production capacity at its current manufacturing facilities. Xiaomi has launched some of its models in India, Russia and Brazil. In Brazil, Xiaomi has plans to manufacture locally to avoid heavy duties on imported goods.
On its popular online shopping platform in China, Xiaomi sells flat-panel TVs, smartphones, fitness bands, accessories, powerbanks and even stuffed bunnies (the company mascot).
Xiaomi has expanded rather quickly in many markets. The company may enter the U.S. market in the coming years but it might face a few bottlenecks. Xiaomi’s co-founder and president Bin Lin was also present during the press event in San Francisco.
During an event in San Francisco, Xiaomi vice president of global operations Hugo Barra shared a few details about Xiaomi’s plans in the United States. Barra has played an important role in Xiaomi’s expansion in the markets outside China. Barra was earlier working on Android platform and products, till 2013.
Barra said that the U.S. launch is an experiment for the company. He added that there are many issues, which the company is considering, before it makes its presence felt in one of the biggest market for gadgets and smartphones. Among the factors considered by the company are the after-sales services, dealership and support network and also patent related issues.
Instead of higher price range for advanced models of Samsung and Apple, Xiaomi offers feature rich phones in range of $100 – 300. In 2014, Xiaomi witnessed nearly three times increase in its sales compared to 2013. The company usually puts limited supply online, which is snapped up by consumers within a few minutes or hours. Xiaomi sold more phones than Samsung and Apple during the third quarter. However, with iPhone 6 launch, Apple managed to sell the highest number of smartphones during fourth quarter in China.
Recently, Alibaba CEO Jack Ma also picked up stake in Xiaomi. The deal valued Xiaomi at $45 billion in the latest fund-raising round. The company surely has potential and in the long run, it could be a big trouble for Samsung, Apple, Sony, LG and Lenovo.
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