Hugo Barra (former Googler) left Google behind in September 2013 to pursue a new direction with Chinese consumer goods manufacturer Xiaomi. Xiaomi is recognized as one of, if not the top smartphone makers in China. Their phones have been criticized (most notably by Jony Ive of Apple) as being knockoff imitations of iPhones but they sell very well in China, Singapore, Taiwan, India and several other markets. Now Barra has announced that Xiaomi will be opening a US online store for some of its products.
Don’t expect to be able to pick up a shiny new Xiaomi phone through a US based store though. Xiaomi’s foray into the US market is going to start with smaller items and accessories. Things that won’t be too much effort to market and sell here in the US. Hugo Barra elaborated a bit in an interview with Bloomberg.
Xiaomi “can bring these products to market much faster because they are simpler to take to market,” Hugo Barra, Xiaomi’s vice president of international, said at a news conference in San Francisco on Thursday, Feb. 12. “We intend to launch it here in the U.S. and perhaps a few other markets and see how it goes. Hopefully it will be the beginning of really having America experience the Xiaomi brand and quality and craftsmanship of our products.”
I’m sure Xiaomi will consider bringing their phones to US shores but that will entail a bit more work than small accessories and I wouldn’t put it past Apple to try and block such a move, considering their vocal opposition of Xiaomi designs. What do you think of Xiaomi’s entrance into the US market? Although not full on smartphone sales it could end up going that way.Source: Bloomberg