Xiaomi's long awaited launch in the U.S. could come this year, or next year. But there is no denying that the company, which will go public in a huge $10 billion IPO in Hong Kong later this summer, is making its way across the European continent. Today, Xiaomi started selling its products in France. On Thursday, two days from now, the manufacturer will open shop in Italy.
Will Xiaomi be able to duplicate the huge success of its arrival in India? In the second largest smartphone market in the world, Xiaomi is the number one brand, accounting for 30% of sales. The company's penchant for selling well spec'd phones at a value price dovetails perfectly in this smartphone hungry country. With a low per capita income, Indian consumers seek out high-end models at a good price.
Xiaomi's Western European expansion began 6 months ago when it set up camp in Spain. It is now the number three smartphone manufacturer in that country. But there are headwinds in the new markets. Shipments into the region declined 13.9% year-over-year in the first quarter. In France, smartphone deliveries declined a whopping 23.2% during the first three months of the year, compared to Q1 of 2017.
Xiaomi already has deals with some carriers in France to carry its phones. Orange, SFR, Bouygues and Free subscribers will soon be able to purchase certain Xiaomi handsets.