Chinese smartphone maker Xiaomi could finally break into the United States market after much struggle. Both Huawei and Xiaomi have discussed US sales strategies in the past, but Huawei has since been under intense scrutiny and may not come to the US at all, leaving an open opportunity for Xiaomi to jump in.
According to Xiaomi CEO Lei Jun, the company could begin marketing to US consumers within the next year. At the same time, Xiaomi is also working on its initial public offering to raise capital for expansion. Having only started in 2010, Xiaomi has rapidly grown to be one of the largest smartphone makers now valued at as much as $100 billion.
Even though Xiaomi is not yet in the United States market, it is still an absolutely massive tech company. With over 15,000 employees and more than $15 billion in annual revenue, the stage is set for some real competition to occur. Xiaomi may even have Samsung reexamining sales strategies after taking the number one rank for units sold during the fourth quarter of 2017 in India.
For now, Xiaomi continues to sell its accessory products throughout the US and Europe, but will takes its time to ensure that the introduction of smartphones is done right. The Mi Mix 2 offers specifications similar to that of flagship phones including 128 GB of storage, 6 GB of RAM, a Snapdragon 835 processor, Bluetooth 5.0, and bezel-free display. All of that can be found for slightly under $500.
The Redmi line of phones from Xiaomi offers even more affordable pricing on phones that greatly resemble the iPhone. Redmi phones start around $150 and go up to around the $300 price point. These may not impress enthusiasts with their specs, but a 3,000mAh battery and microSD card slot combined with low price could certainly make them appealing to some.
The introduction of Chinese smartphones to the US market could have a significant impact on sales of current leaders Apple and Samsung. Now that nearly all smartphones perform well for daily use, the differentiating factors that allow premiums to be commanded are slowly finding their way into budget smartphones.