China’s largest smartphone manufacturer, Xiaomi has finally entered Western markets after being kept out of the lucrative US and Western European markets for years, largely through lawsuits and multiple claims of patent infringement against the Chinese manufacturer by Apple Inc. Now that the famed startup is finally entering Europe and North America, it is doing so through its online store, which has been launched by the company for consumers in the US alongside the UK, France and Germany. The store has already been operational for two weeks as part of a beta trial-run from Xiaomi, since the 19th of last month.
However, customers wanting to pick up a Mi4 or a Redmi 2 on the cheap might be disappointed as the store will only offer to sell mobile accessories like power-banks and headphones, along with a smart wristband to consumers in these four countries for now. The products listed as available for the four aforementioned countries on the official mi.com website include a fitness band for $14.99, headphones for $79.99 and two power banks; a 5000 mAh variant costing $9.99 and a 10,400 mAh variant costing $13.99. Globally, the company’s products notably include the flagship Mi 4 smartphone and the Mi Note / Mi Note Pro phablets, the mid-range Mi 4i handset and the Redmi Note 3G / 4G phablets. The company also sells the popular entry-level Redmi 2 smartphone. Speaking on the occasion of the brand’s official launch in the four countries, the Vice-President of Xiaomi Global, Mr. Hugo Barra issued a statement, saying he was “truly excited to bring a selection of our best-selling accessories” to the new markets. He also promised to bring “more Mi products over time to the US and Europe”.
Xiaomi has been aggressively expanding its footprints around the globe, after having tentatively stepped out of its home base of China last year. India was one of the first markets that Xiaomi launched its products outside of China, and after an overwhelming response in the South Asian nation, it has been quick to follow-up with launches or proposed launches in Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Thailand, Vietnam, Russia, Turkey, Brazil and Mexico. With its high-end hardware, feature rich software and robust build quality coupled with aggressive pricing, Xiaomi as a brand has become popular in most countries where it has forayed into, over the past year. The company was only founded in 2010 and makes everything from smartphones, tablets, smart televisions, smart wristbands and a variety of other mobile accessories. The company has already been reportedly valued at around $45 billion, and has ambitious plans of selling 100 million smartphones in the calendar year 2015, after having sold over 60 million handsets last year.