As most of you know, Xiaomi is one of the fastest growing smartphone OEMs in China, and the world actually. This China-based company managed to become China’s number one smartphone manufacturer in less than 5 years since it was founded. Huawei has managed to trump Xiaomi in the third quarter of this year, which puts Xiaomi in second place in China at the moment. Unlike Xiaomi, Huawei is selling devices all over the world, while Xiaomi is currently limited to Asia and Brazil as far as smartphone sales go. The company does, however, sell their accessories internationally, they’re even available in the US.
Speaking of which, Xiaomi’s co-founder and president, Lin Bin, actually admitted quite recently that the company is getting ready to enter the US. Now, we’ve talked about this many times before, but Xiaomi’s entrance to the US market (in the full sense) was never as close as it is now. When a company’s co-founder says that it will happen, we better take it seriously, right? Well, we have, but it still seems like Xiaomi might face a tough road ahead. We still don’t have any specific info on when this might happen, or what products does Xiaomi intends to bring forth first, but we do think that they’ll pace themselves, well I do, personally. I do believe that Xiaomi will start off slow and see how it goes, for many reasons.
The main reason being, patents. Xiaomi will quite probably face some lawsuits when they arrive in the US, and I’m quite confident they’ve been working on licensing for a long time now. Who knows, perhaps the company managed to avoid any lawsuits, we’ll just have to wait and see. The other, quite crucial, reason, is… well, US market is miles away from anything Xiaomi is accustomed to. The Chinese smartphone market, and other Asian markets, are quite different than what Xiaomi is about to face.
Xiaomi doesn’t exactly spend all that much on regular advertising, well, at least not anywhere close to what other companies do. Their advertising is somewhat different, they have a huge following on social networks, and so-called ‘fans’, and once Xiaomi starts rising hype, things get into motion. This actually makes sense considering Xiaomi is an online company. Now, the question remains, will it work in the US? Many China-based companies have tried to make their way to the US, and even though some of them do sell devices here, they’re no nearly as successful as in Asia.
Will Xiaomi be able to overcome all difficulties and succeed in the US? That’s a hard question to answer, but it’s surely going to be interesting to see what happens next. Consumers in the US aren’t exactly all that aware of the Xiaomi brand name, and it will definitely be interesting to see how Xiaomi intends to change that. Xiaomi is stepping into unknown, and even though they have been preparing for quite some time now, and have Hugo Barra as part of their team, this road might be bumpier than they think.