Xiaomi’s US window of opportunity may well close soon enough if the hyper-competitive smartphone market hits a saturation point it’s been approaching for several years now, and the company once nicknamed the “Apple of China” doesn’t overturn a recent global stagnation trend of its own.
But “haste makes waste” is still the guiding principle of the excessively patient hardware and software developer, which continues to “wait for the perfect opportunity” to start selling Mi phones stateside through its official e-store.
So far, the OEM’s highest-profile American launch has been without a doubt that of the 4K-capable Mi Box Android TV streamer, though you can also pick up small, cheap stuff like headphones, Bluetooth speakers or power banks from Xiaomi’s local online shop.
For smartphones however, that might not be the tactic Xiaomi is thinking of employing… eventually, fearing “short-term gain” could “ruin seven years’ worth of hard work on branding.” Instead of sidestepping carrier testing and optimization, like Huawei, ZTE or OnePlus, the Chinese tech giant wants to closely collaborate with major wireless service providers, but right now, its engineers are simply too busy to fully focus on that complicated, time-consuming task.
According to Hugo Barra’s replacement in the Senior Vice President role, Wang Xiang, who also still leads the Supply Chain and Intellectual Property teams at Xiaomi, the company is currently after a “mass market, massive impact, as opposed to a premium, elite thing”, seeking “innovation for everyone.” From China to India to Ukraine, Indonesia and Myanmar, totaling 30 regions and making a “proper” US expansion a delicate undertaking in the short run. Sad!