Xiaomi recently took the wraps off of its newest flagship phones, the Mi Note and Mi Note Plus. At the time, there was no mention of when those devices might make their way out of China, and now Hugo Barra has revealed that it’ll be a while before we see Xiaomi’s products outside of its home country.
In an interview with the BBC, Xiaomi exec Hugo Barra has said that “it’s probably going to be a few years” before Xiaomi enters “tier one” markets like the U.S. and Europe. Barra explained that Xiaomi’s strategy of building high-end products and selling them nearly at cost has much higher economic and social impacts in developing markets. Xiaomi is also “not quite at the level” that it needs to be to enter highly-competitive markets like the U.S. and U.K., Barra said.
Barra also responded to a question regarding Apple and the comparisons between Xiaomi’s products and Apple’s. Barra said that Xiaomi is a “very innovative company” that’s done “a lot of original and interesting things,” adding that Xiaomi has been copied more than most other Chinese companies.
Other topics touched on in Barra’s interview include the working conditions at Xiaomi’s contracted manufacturers like Foxconn, as well as the culture at Xiaomi and whether or not he considers it a “Chinese company.”
Most of Xiaomi’s products look pretty good, the new Mi Note and Mi Note Plus included, and the company’s custom Miui Android overlay is attractive as well. When you factor in Xiaomi’s effort to sell high-end products at affordable prices as well, it’s no wonder that a lot of folks want to see Xiaomi enter Western markets. Not only would it be nice to have easier access to these devices, but it’d be interesting to see how Xiaomi would compete with heavy-hitters like Apple, Samsung, LG, and HTC in the West. Unfortunately, it sounds like it’ll be a while before we see that battle go down.
Would you consider buying Xiaomi hardware if it were more readily available in places like the U.S. and Europe?