Hugo Barra

Hugo Barra: It Will Take Some Time For Xiaomi To Reach Tier One Markets

January 18, 2015 - Written By Kristijan Lucic

Last year was great for Xiaomi, this China-based smartphone manufacturer has become third largest smartphone vendor in the world and has sold three times as many devices compared to 2013. The company has released a bunch of high-quality products and managed to keep their prices low, which basically made them extremely competitive. Xiaomi has already announced three new devices this year, and we’re still in January. The company has announced the successor to the Redmi 1S handset, the Redmi 2, and two new high-end beasts, the Mi Note and Mi Note Pro. The Xiaomi press event on January 15 was followed by a slew of interviews, company’s CEO Lei Jun, and VP of international Hugo Barra, were the most sought-after Xiaomi employees to interview.

BBC managed to get ahold of Hugo Barra and held an interesting interview with the ex-Google employee, let’s see what he had to say. Hugo Barra said that Xiaomi is “an interesting combination of software and hardware, plus we’re also a major e-commerce company,” he continued by comparing Xiaomi to Google and Amazon on the software side, and Apple and Samsung on the hardware side of things. BCC went straight to the point and asked something the majority of people want to know, when will Xiaomi offer Mi Note devices (and Xiaomi products in general) in U.S and Europe. Xiaomi’s VP of International said the following: “It’s probably gonna be a few years before we reach these tier one markets.” Hugo Barra tried to explain his answer, he said that Xiaomi makes high-end devices and sells them almost at cost, which has a much higher impact in the developing countries. He also added that U.S. and Europe markets are incredibly competitive, and that Xiaomi doesn’t feel they’re ready to enter those markets and face as much competition at the moment, they still need time.

After BBC’s reporter stated that many people call Xiaomi the “Apple of the east” and asked Hugo Barra to comment on that criticism, Xiaomi’s VP stated that Xiaomi si a very innovative company and that they’ve produced many interesting things. He also added that Xiaomi has been copied more than any other Chinese company and said that Xiaomi is a Chinese company with “insane global ambitions”. Those of you who have been waiting for Xiaomi to start selling their devices officially in Europe or the U.S., don’t hold your breath, it will take some time before Xiaomi opens up shop in those regions. You can always get their devices through resellers of course, especially now that Xiaomi has started including global network band support to their devices. Either way, Xiaomi is growing extremely fast and we’ll be seeing a lot more of them in the coming years.