Xiaomi Is Not Just Ready To Come To U.S.
The Chinese smartphone maker Xiaomi has been expanding across Asia, but does not consider moving the smartphone business towards the States so far. However, it is willing to bring its other products to the U.S.
Xiaomi’s Vice President of International, Hugo Barra, announced at a press event on Thursday in San Francisco that the company was planning to launch its own e-commerce website in the U.S. and other international markets so it could start selling its accessories like fitness bands, power banks and other related items.
“We intend to launch here in the U.S. in a few months,” Barra said. “It will not include any phones or tablets,” he said, adding that localization of its MIUI Android platform is “incredibly difficult.”
Xiaomi introduced a number of headsets and TV streaming box at a press event in China last month. However, Barra said that these devices were not likely to be made available in the U.S. because of content rights and other regional issues.
Xiaomi is dealing with eight Asian countries right now, and is expected to expand its smartphone market to Brazil very soon. Company executives cited their figures for sales in past two years:
Phone sets sold: 61.1 million in 2014, which represented a 227 percent growth over 2013.
Revenue generated: 74.3 billion RMB (around $12 billion) which represented a 135 percent growth over 2013.
Moreover, Xiaomi’s MIUI version of Android is used by over 100 million people worldwide.
Xiaomi President Lin Bin said that a lot of the company’s success is in part due to its direct interaction with its users, which includes an active online forum, and even direct face-to-face interaction. In 2014, Xiaomi had a whopping 665 fan gatherings in only China.
Such interactions have led to the evolution of MIUI as well. Xiaomi has been sending new updates to its MIUI Android system every week for 224 weeks straight, and according to Barra, many of the system’s new features have been suggested by fans. These include:
- An easier way to edit the phone’s home screen
- A white list for Android app notifications
- A “beauty-face” type feature that automatically makes your selfie look better
One of the best and most useful feature, however, is pruning the long branches of automatic voice systems of many Chinese companies, and presents options to complete common tasks right within the dialer. Want to speak with a representative? Then just press a button — and your Xiaomi phone will automatically dial the right sequence of numbers to get you there.