Aside from boosting its domestic sales to unprecedented levels, Huawei proved over the course of last year you can also achieve (moderate) Western success even when hailing from China.
Xiaomi should really be next in pursuing its American and European dream, the first step being made yesterday in Barcelona, where the flagship-grade but relatively affordable Mi 5 took MWC 2016 audiences by storm.
Still, the “Apple of China” remains fearful of trumpeting a truly global expansion effort, merely confirming the Mi 5 for a March 1 commercial debut in the company’s homeland, followed shortly by a launch in India.
Eventually, the Xiaomi Mi 5 will become available in other “global markets” as well, but dates and names are still very much up in the air. Could we be looking at a “proper” US rollout, with carriers on board to subsidize the Android 5.2-incher? That’s highly unlikely. But unlocked sales on American and select European shores are definitely possible.
Remember, the Snapdragon 820 powerhouse is priced as low as RMB 2,000 ($306) for China, in a 3GB RAM/32GB ROM configuration with the quad-core Qualcomm silicon clocked at 1.8GHz. 300 RMB extra ($45) will hook you up with twice the internal storage space and a 2.15GHz SD820 chip, while finally RMB 2,700 ($415) covers the cost of a 128/4GB Xiaomi Mi 5 “Pro.”
The top-of-the-line model also sports a so-called “3D ceramic back cover”, which should be stronger and prettier than the “3D glass back cover” of the cheaper variants. Oh, what Westerners wouldn’t give for a crack at that!