Beijing company Xiaomi had a press release on February 12 to signify that they will be entering the U.S. market in the coming months, but not in the way you would expect. While the company is historically known for their smartphones, in their announcement the company revealed that they will begin by selling primarily smartphone/tablet accessories. Xiaomi will launch Mi.com, their online eCommerce store for selling such accessories.
Apparently, the choice not to sell smartphones is not one by intention, but by force due to regulatory hurdles. According to a report from Reuters, President Lin Bin and Vice President Hugo Bara stated the following:
The company will not be able to sell its smartphones in the US because of regulatory challenges
This is likely the result of their patent infringement that was reported late last year. Ericsson AB reportedlysued Xiaomi because they were using Ericsson’s technology without a license. TechInAsia also cites that a lack of carrier partnerships could be another reason that the company is not ready to launch their devices in America. Without partnerships in place with wireless carriers to subsidize the overall cost of the smartphone, the devices could be perceived as overly expensive to the typical consumer.
Regardless, the company is inching its way into the United States. While starting with smartphone accessories, it’s very likely that if the company can get past some of the regulatory hurdles that it is facing, they will begin selling their smartphones and tablets as well. Coming to a new market and not selling your bread and butter products is like going to McDonalds and buying a salad. (It’s just not a good idea.)
Hopefully, getting past those regulatory hurdles will occur sooner rather than later, as Xiaomi’s smart devices have sold like hotcakes in other regions. The company sold an incredible $12 billion in revenue last year, doubling their previous year’s revenue figures! Xiaomi launched back in 2010 and has been growing rapidly ever since.
What are your thoughts on the matter? Are you excited to purchase some of Xiaomi’s accessories? Or just disappointed that you still don’t have access to their range of smart devices? Sound off in the comments below.