Xiaomi phones not coming to America anytime soon, put your cheap flagship hopes elsewhere


If you are still hoping to buy Xiaomi phones in the USA by official means, you will have to wait indefinitely. In an interview with Global VP Wang Xiang, the exec admitted that US market expansion is still no priority for the smartphone maker.

That's not particularly pleasant news, for the brand's handsets become increasingly desirable each year, but users in America and Europe are being left out. Sourcing them from unofficial suppliers remains the only route, which isn't optimal due to markups, occasional lack of warranty or customer support, and network incompatibility in the USA.

Xiaomi doesn't want to go the direct-to-customer route, which has been successful for much smaller companies like OnePlus or Huawei's Honor brand. The company believes such a move will put its brand reputation at risk and potentially hurt its relationships with US carriers, all for short-term gain. Thus, Xiaomi is waiting for the right opportunity to enter the US market as the big boys do, negotiating carrier distribution and setting up full customer service.

However, the company is having its hands full operating in 30 regions, most of which are developing markets with bigger potential for growth than the saturated US market. Additionally, it doesn't have the engineering resources to customize its devices for US carriers' networks and go through the extensive testing that new smartphones undergo. However, Xiaomi stays in touch with the Big Four and is, in a way, waiting for the right moment.

The full interview is available at Engadget.

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15 Comments

1. p51d007

Posts: 705; Member since: Nov 24, 2013

You have to wonder if the FCC, Samsung, Apple, AT&T, Verizon et al, are all playing "under the table" to pretty much lock out most of the USA market. Or, because of the stupidity of most USA consumers, who still believe you buy a phone at a carrier store, they won't buy anything but OVERPRICED phones.

2. kiko007

Posts: 7518; Member since: Feb 17, 2016

Dude give the s**t a rest. Americans don't buy phones unlocked or cheap Chinese nonsense because, *spoilers* Americans have more buying power than the majority of the world. There is no conspiracy between the companies mentioned and Americans aren't ignorant of the Chinese market. They simply don't want the products offered... even at a cheaper price. Case in point: LeEco and their hilarious decent into what will undoubtedly become bankruptcy trying to sway American phone buyers that their products were legit. Give that bs a rest...

7. sukrith2194 unregistered

Ya... Saw how your spending power caused the entire world economy to crash! The American system is completely based on credit... So atop acting all superior!

8. kiko007

Posts: 7518; Member since: Feb 17, 2016

You have no f**king clue what you're talking about. Also... I'm NOT American by default.

9. Arch_Fiend

Posts: 3951; Member since: Oct 03, 2015

Hey sukr, your comment is so stupid it's funny lol.

10. Tariq123

Posts: 186; Member since: May 15, 2016

based on credit or not, America is doing well. Or at least most of us are. Non-Credit countries are still leaders in being 3rd world countries so maybe America is doing something right.

12. TheOracle1

Posts: 2340; Member since: May 04, 2015

You're just plain wrong. Most American consumers aren't even aware of phones other than Apple or Samsung. Quality wise there are numerous Chinese brands that easily match Samsung and Apple. Xiaomi, Vivo/Oppo and Huawei spring to mind. You also seem to have conveniently overlooked the fact that iPhone's are made in China ffs. Several years ago I took my Nubia Z7 Max into Verizon to see if I could use it on their network (I couldn't even though it was compatible) and the sales people actually gathered around to look at it and were very impressed. They simply didn't know what it was and were full of questions. Their job is to know about phones and they had never heard of it, talk less of the average American consumer. Pull a Mi Mix out of your pocket anywhere and there's no one who won't be impressed.

13. TheOracle1

Posts: 2340; Member since: May 04, 2015

"They simply don't want the products offered... even at a cheaper price." Hmmm, I guess that's why Hyundai and Kia can't sell cars in the US either? You're full of $hit.

3. L0n3n1nja

Posts: 1579; Member since: Jul 12, 2016

I'd rather buy a phone from a carrier, or at least a physical store capable of handling warranty/exchange, than purchase unlocked online. I buy my laptops/tablets in person at a physical location as well, I don't like dealing with expensive online purchases of things that could easily need an exchange.

5. LovesCameras

Posts: 51; Member since: Dec 02, 2015

Buying something online from China isn't much different than in the US... unless you prefer physical stores. I often buy jasmine tea online, for instance.

6. T-Dizzle

Posts: 156; Member since: Jul 21, 2015

Too bad, their phones are intriguing and I would love to try one out.

11. Export

Posts: 98; Member since: Apr 24, 2017

A big portion of America does not care because of Sprint and Verizons CDMA networks.

14. poptart574

Posts: 223; Member since: Feb 29, 2016

Xiaomi is very shrewd. Stay out of that saturated market where all that's waiting for you is a lawsuit from many of the phone makers once feeling threatened. Phone carriers on the other hand will take control of their phones, add a bunch of unnecessary carrier apps and not market the product at all. The American market is run by a two horse race and it would take billions to convince enough consumers to switch.

15. jauling

Posts: 82; Member since: Feb 13, 2015

"The company believes such a move will put its brand reputation at risk" - haha true! MIUI is nowhere ready for US consumption, Americans would tear Xiaomi a new one with how crap their software is. Oh, also look at "quickly" Xiaomi releases kernel sources for their phones, GPL violation anyone? Disclosure: I'm American and I've owned a Mi2s and MiPad, both which worked okay for me.

16. poptart574

Posts: 223; Member since: Feb 29, 2016

Not enough room for them to do business. Samsung and Apple are the only companies that can sustain sales in the US. LG, HTC and Huawei all offer amazing phones yet can't quite find any type of footing to sell enough quantities to sustain a healthy business.

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