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Challenger approaching: Xiaomi may enter the U.S. smartphone market by the end of the year

Xiaomi may be heading to Western shores soon.
Xiaomi may be heading to Western shores soon.
The 4th largest smartphone manufacturer (as of Q4 2017) may be entering one of the only markets it hasn't actively pursued: the United States. While the brand sells several other electronic devices (like speakers and home products), the OEM's phones may soon be on the store shelves of the four major U.S. carriers.

While Apple and Samsung continue to dominate the largest Western market, Chinese OEMs have struggled to gain a meaningful foothold. Xiaomi is a prime example of this dichotomy: while the OEM may now be the fourth largest smartphone manufacturer in the world, it is still relatively unknown in the United States. The company is looking to change that in the near future as it plans to enter the U.S. market.

Recently, Xiaomi’s chairman Lei Jun said that the company “[plans] to start entering the [U.S.] market by end 2018 (sic), or by early 2019.” Xiaomi already has a small presence in the States, but not in the phone arena. Rather, the company has been selling other electronics (like headphones, mirrorless cameras, and even robot coding kits) over the past year to moderate success.

If the OEM is able to successfully launch its smartphone brand stateside, it may cause a major shakeup in the American mobile phone arena. Chinese smartphones have become known as solid “bang-for-your-buck” devices but are typically only imported by Android enthusiasts. The larger consumer base as a whole is more reliant on big-box retailers (think Best Buy) and their phone carrier for device support. To that end, Xiaomi’s best bet would be to launch phones in partnership with one of the Big Four carriers: Verizon, AT&T, Sprint, and T-Mobile. This might drive up prices as carriers will look to take a cut of profits for themselves. Should this happen, the Chinese smartphones may lose their competitive advantage and fall on deaf ears.

There are other hurdles to entering the American market. Huawei’s potential deal with AT&T was killed earlier this year by national security concerns. While the validity of these concerns is debatable, the issue itself was enough to block the largest Chinese OEM from entering the U.S. Xiaomi has an uphill battle ahead of it.

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> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > News > News Archive > Newsarchive 2018 03 > Challenger approaching: Xiaomi may enter the U.S. smartphone market by the end of the year
Sam Medley, 2018-03- 5 (Update: 2018-03- 5)
Sam Medley
Sam Medley - Review Editor - @samuel_medley
I've been a "tech-head" my entire life. After graduating college with a degree in Mathematics, I worked in finance and banking a few years before taking a job as a Systems Analyst for my local school district. I started working with Notebookcheck in October of 2016 and have enjoyed writing news articles and notebook reviews. My areas of interest include the business side of technology, retro gaming, Linux, and innovative gadgets. When I'm not hunched over an electronic device or writing code for a new database, I'm either outside with my family, playing a decade-old video game, or sitting behind a drum set.