Hugo Barra, International VP at Xiaomi, has indicated that the China-based firm does eventually intend to sell smartphones in the United States, but as yet, has no specific plan in place. Earlier this month, confirmation broke of the firm's intention to open an online 'Mi Store' in the States as well as France, Germany and the U.K. in early June. But while fans dared to dream that the company was planning a concerted invasion of these markets, the rather deflating truth is that Xiaomi is sticking with accessories, for now. But Barra, former leading member of Google's Android team, insists that there will eventually be more to come.
Speaking at the Code Conference, Barra says that Xiaomi is "working on" expanding its reach beyond Asia. Having seen incredible growth since inception -- the company is, lest we forget, scarcely five years old -- Xiaomi has branched out from China to Singapore, Malaysia and India, among others, but has yet mount a challenge in the Western World.
Speaking tentatively, Barra concedes that his company does not have a "set plan" in place as yet, but is content with dipping its toes into the water with accessories. It might not be a bad starting point, either: Barra says that Xiaomi's Mi Band fitness bands are shifting over one million units per month, which he believes is more than the Fitbit.
Should the Mi Band and other accessories sell strongly once the new store goes live, we could finally see the company launch its first smartphone in the U.S. and Europe thereafter. Gauging Barra's tone, we probably shouldn't get too excited as yet, but given Xiaomi's reputation for moving quickly, the likes of Apple and Samsung will surely looking nervously over their shoulders.