San Francisco – Rising Chinese smartphone vendor Xiaomi will enter the U.S. market, but not with affordable smartphones.
The company is entering the U.S. with affordable smartphone accessories and headphones that it will make available online direct to consumers in a few months, the company announced here.
The five-year-old Beijing company sold about 61 million phones last year in China and seven other countries, including India. With phones offering good quality at an affordable price, the company took top smartphone market share in China in 2004 with a 15 percent share, nosing out Samsung’s 14 percent, said market research company IHS. Its Android smartphones are priced to consumers at around $95 to $280 without carrier subsidy, and it uses online sales and social media to keep its sales and marketing costs low.
Xiaomi international VP Hugo Bara described the U.S. website as “an experimental launch” that will raise U.S. awareness, an Associated Press report said. Bara didn’t say when Xiaomi smartphones might wash up on U.S. shores, contending it would take “an incredible amount of work” to bring them to market here, AP reported.
Xiaomi also markets other consumer electronics products such as flat-panel TVs and fitness bands.
Bin Lin, Xiaomi’s co-founder and president, also appeared at the press event.