Earlier this week, we and a few other publications got an email from Xiaomi inviting us to an event in San Francisco. Which I will be heading out to next week to see what it’s all about. The first thought that crossed everyone’s mind was, Xiaomi is expanding into the US. They quickly denied that, which most companies would anyways, even if they are coming to the US now. So what exactly are they doing here? Well, we did also hear that they were opening up an R&D factory here in the US. So it could be in San Francisco, which wouldn’t surprise me. And it’s looking like this will be a small event, almost like a meet and greet type event.
So what’s Xiaomi planning on doing next week? Well, it looks like they are going to be letting journalists like myself meet with various Xiaomi VP’s, which is not common for us. Seeing as they are primarily in Asia, and we are primarily in the USA. So it’s a good chance to get to meet some of their VP’s like Hugo Barra and Lin Bin. Even though we know Hugo Barra from his time at Google. But this could in fact be the first step to Xiaomi moving into the US. Especially with them opening up an R&D facility here in the US.
Xiaomi is hugely popular over in China and other Asian countries. During my two trips to Beijing late last year for a couple of Meizu’s events, I saw a ton of Xiaomi smartphones. And some are very difficult to see that they are Xiaomi phones because they look so much like Samsung’s and Apple’s smartphones. That’s one thing they really need to change for the western markets. They can’t bring a phone over here that looks almost exactly like an iPhone. Apple would have a lot of fun with that though. They also need to get their inventory straightened out. Customers here won’t be happy with their flash sales. Where their Mi4 is available at 9am tomorrow and is sold out in 10 seconds. That won’t fly. And as we’ve seen with OnePlus, an invite system won’t fly either.
Nonetheless, we’ll be in San Francisco next week to see what Xiaomi has planned for the US. And we’ll have a better idea of what they have planned next Thursday. Make sure you stay tuned to Android Headlines for all the details on the Xiaomi event taking place on February 12th.