Xiaomi, the top mobile phone manufacturer at home in China and ranked third in the world, is preparing to move with force into the U.S., according to reports.
Xiaomi usurped Samsung at the top of China's mobile market, bringing flagship-caliber mobile devices at prices hundreds of dollars below those offered by rivals. That disruptive nature is rumored to be on its way to the U.S. mobile market and those rumors don't defy logic.
News of Xiaomi's ambitions to break into the United States' mobile market arose on SlashGear, which cited Chinese-language news site the Economic Daily News. The report states that Xiaomi will make an appearance at the Consumer Electronics Show, Jan. 6-Jan. 9, in Las Vegas, debuting its $325 Mi5 -- to be clear, that's the phone's off-contract price.
Before rumors emerged indicating Xiaomi and the Mi5 are on their way to the U.S., bits of information about the handset and its pricing began to seep into the press -- those details have been based on a series of leaked screenshots and the specifications of the Mi4.
The Mi5 is expected to bear a 5.7-inch display that pumps out a 2K resolution. The handset is also expected to be powered by an octo-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 810 and to be equipped with a 20.7-MP rear camera.
Little rice, the English translation of Xiaomi's name, is already establishing investments in the U.S. Xiaomi and other Chinese companies have pitched in $40 million of investments in wearable tech manufacturer Misfit, a multinational firm that has headquarters in San Francisco.
While time will tell if Xiaomi is truly preparing to move into the mobile market in the U.S., the company has already made clear it intends to expand well beyond its home market as soon as resources allow. Back in August, Hugo Barra, Xiaomi vice president, said his company is forecasting that India's mobile market will soon draw even with China's and he announced plans to step up shipments of his company's products to the sub-continent immediately. He's been living there for several months to speed the process.
"We know it's a market where it will pay off to really build a local brand in a full-on local operation," Barra said. "We've got to move faster than what we previously assumed."
Barra said resources and time were the only things that were slowing Xiaomi in delivering the size of device shipments to India that the company would like. The demand is assuredly there, according to Barra.