Xiaomi's Hugo Barra crushes dreams of an imminent handset launch in the US
Although most of the interview is focused on common topics for Xiaomi officials, such as the company's price-aggressive business model, or its ambitions of securing a foothold in the emerging Indian market, at some point, the focus was turned to Xiaomi's plans for the US.
Unfortunately for those who wanted to hear a specific time frame for the first Xiaomi handset launch in the US, the answer was not as specific as that. Instead, Barra reiterated Xiaomi's plans to test the waters in the US by selling accessories - such as the $15 Mi Band and a headphone range - through its online web store. Referring to the Mi Band, Barra hinted at the fact that a second-generation Mi Band could integrate a heart rate sensor.
According to Barra, Xiaomi does have plans to extend its handset business to the United States, but the VP of International left the impression that this won't be happening anytime soon, which is exactly the same position that Barra took in a similar interview back in late May. The Xiaomi executive said that his company will have to overcome a series of disadvantages for a successful launch in the US.
There's little doubt that a successful handset launch on US shores would mean a lot for the company's international prestige. For now, it looks like the company is looking for more financially profitable endeavours. The upcoming step in Xiaomi's expansion plan seems to be a successful penetration of the Indian market, one where Xiaomi's customer base is prominent.