Xiaomi is a very interesting company. This China-based company has managed to become the number one smartphone manufacturer in China, and third worldwide in less than 4 years. The company has recently celebrated their fifth anniversary and managed to break the Guinness World Record at the same time, they sold the most smartphones in a single day. Xiaomi sold 61 million smartphones in 2014, and the company plans to improve upon that this year, they’re aiming at the magic 100 million number by the end of 2015. It will certainly be interesting to see if they can achieve something like that, but there are a lot of factors to consider here.
This Chinese smartphone manufacturer is currently selling their smartphones only in Asia, and the vast majority of them are sold in China. They’re putting bigger focus on India, and do plan to open up shop in Latin America soon, but the question is, will that have a huge impact on their sales in 2015? We’ll see. That being said, Xiaomi is slowly, but surely expanding to other markets as well. As already mentioned, they intend to start selling smartphones in Latin America (Brazil) soon, but they’ve already started selling their accessories in the US and the UK. Accessories are not smartphones, obviously, but that’s also a start.
So, the question remains, why didn’t Xiaomi start selling smartphones in the US and Europe just yet? Well, there are a lot of variables to consider here. First and foremost, Xiaomi is already a huge company, but it’s nowhere near as big as Samsung and LG for example. Xiaomi can produce a lot of phones at the moment, but they’ll need to make sure they can meet the demand before expanding to such big markets as the US and Europe. The company probably wants to take it one step at a time, and that’s the best approach in this case, they’re in no hurry, that’s for sure. Another thing to consider here, are patents. Xiaomi has already registered a lot of patents, but they’re nowhere near some other companies, and they do need time to change that. This is a very important aspect to consider, and are going to need as many of them as possible. This China-based smartphone OEM will certainly want to avoid any lawsuits or anything of the sort, and those might be yet another reason why Xiaomi is taking its sweet time selling smartphone in the US and Europe. They’ll need to alter their handset in order to avoid any possible lawsuits, and same goes for patent infringement.
The Chinese smartphone market, and Asia in general, is different than some other markets. It’s not exactly easy to adapt to Europe and the US after being used to Asia. Xiaomi has a rather specific way of promoting their smartphones, they used social media heavily, and have managed to acquire a lot of fans that way. Things are being done differently in Europe and the US, and Xiaomi will have to adapt in order to succeed. The company’s Head of International, Hugo Barra, has said a couple of months ago that Xiaomi has no intention of rushing to either of the aforementioned markets, and that their smartphones won’t be available over there that soon. So, when will they arrive? Well, the best guess I can give you based on the collected information is… in a couple of years. I’m sure that the company doesn’t want to rush pushing their smartphones to markets which are so much different than Asian ones, and it will certainly take the company quite some time to sort out and prepare everything before making such a huge step forward.