No, Xiaomi will not sell its cheap, popular smartphones in the U.S. or Europe–yet. But the budget smartphone giant is testing the American and European appetite for the Xiaomi brand by opening online stores that will only sell smartphone accessories, reports The Guardian. Xiaomi announced its international plans in early March, and tomorrow Xiaomi will begin selling in the U.S., the U.K., Germany, and France.
Xiaomi topped Samsung for most smartphones sold in China by selling very inexpensive smartphones at razor-thin margins. Fast Company named Xiaomi one of the world’s most innovative companies in 2014 and again in 2015. Browse the European or American Xiaomi online store, however, and you’ll find a small selection of headphones, two smartphone battery packs, and the company’s Mi fitness band–but no smartphones, and no indication of when (or if) Xiaomi will start selling them in those stores.
This caution shows that Xiaomi has learned some important lessons after it set up shop in India last year–and business immediately slammed to a halt when Swedish smartphone giant Ericsson hit Xiaomi with patent infringement lawsuits. As The Guardian points out, Xiaomi would probably run into similar legal trouble if it started selling smartphones in Europe or the U.S.