As last year’s most popular smartphone vendor in China continues to quietly set the stage for its next-gen flagship’s double debut showing in Barcelona and Beijing, this tiny T-Mobile MVNO called US Mobile took the nation by surprise yesterday, picking up the Redmi 2, Mi 3 and Mi 4 out of nowhere, alongside Meizu’s M2 Note.
The little known carrier predictably ran out of all stocks the same day it put the four super-affordable Androids on sale, and if you hoped they’d return sooner or later, there might be a big hurdle on their way back to market.
As it turns out, no one asked Xiaomi if it was cool with this sudden spurt of “official” US availability for three of its best recent handhelds. Thus, “U.S. Mobile is not authorized to sell Xiaomi products in the US”, and there are still “no plans to sell smartphones through any authorized distributors in the US”, partly for fear of patent lawsuits.
Granted, US Mobile’s “grey market” tactics aren’t exactly unheard of, and as long as the service provider legally purchases its inventory from countries Xiaomi does ship devices to, the entire affair is perfectly lawful.
What you need to keep in mind is manufacturer warranty conditions can’t be fulfilled on American soil, with 4G LTE connectivity also impossible to achieve on T-Mobile’s network, and pre-loaded software deeply reliant on services and apps exclusive to China. Bottom line, maybe it’s not such a good idea to buy a Mi 4 or Mi 3 from US Mobile when (or rather if) the phones make a comeback.
Source: International Business Times