After making waves in India last year, Chinese company Xiaomi plans to head for one of Apple’s biggest markets US. The company plans to enter the market and start off by selling accessories on its website, but will expand its offerings at a later date. Also Read - Xiaomi Mi Watch Revolve Active India launch date revealed: When's the launch?Also Read - Meet Indian developer who wins Apple Design award for his music app NaadSadhana
Even though smartphones are not on the table yet, Xiaomi’s plan to enter US is a big deal. US is one the biggest markets for Apple, and Xiaomi s disruptive business model is likely to affect the Cupertino company’s business immensely. Also Read - OnePlus Nord CE vs Redmi Note 10 Pro Max: Does 4G still outdo 5G at a lesser price?
If you look at the Indian scenario, cheaper alternatives and online sales, affected businesses of many brands like Samsung, who had a huge stronghold in the country. Just a few days ago, reports of Samsung losing its earlier firm grip in India surfaced, with its share declining to 16.5 percent at the end of December 2014 from 20.3 percent at the beginning of the year.
This all goes to say, that Apple should load its gun, roll up its sleeve and get prepared for Xiaomi, as it heads for US in the coming months, even without smartphones.
Xiaomi currently sells its products ranging from smartphones, to air purifiers to fitness bands, in seven countries in Asia. It has managed to sell 61.12 million phones in 2014, bringing in apparent revenues of 74.3 billion CNY ($12 billion) in the process.
Just last month, co-founder and President Bin Lin revealed that the Chinese smartphone maker had raised $1.1 billion at a valuation of a whopping $45 billion from existing as well as new investors. In five years since its first smartphone release, the success story of Xiaomi is inspirational to say the least.
Hugo Barra broke this news at a press event in San Francisco, where he said that the Mi.com US marketplace will initially sell just accessories, and will be launched in a few months. The company also plans to venture to other regions, and some of the rumored ones are Mexico, Turkey, Russia and Brazil.
“We might try things in small volumes and see how it goes,” Barra told Mashable. “We ll actually gain a lot of experience from selling these products in the US because we ll get a lot of feedback that will actually be globally relevant for us.”
Barra hinted global expansion plans at BGR India’s Dream 500 Million event last month as well, where he revealed Xiaomi’s plans to open a Research and Development Centre in India for innovating global products.