Xiaomi confirms US smartphone launch set for the 'near future'

One of Xiaomi's lead executives confirms its mobile phone launch in the US, but didn't provide a specific time frame or carrier partnerships.
Written by Jake Smith, Contributor

Xiaomi Mi 5

CNET / CBS Interactive

China's popular budget smartphone maker Xiaomi will enter the US smartphone market "in the near future," according to the company's vice president Hugo Barra in an interview with Bloomberg.

Barra, a former Googler, said Xiaomi will employ similar tactics it has used to expand in other markets, like India, by having a marketing strategy focused on social media and other parts of the web.

"The US is a market that we definitely have in our sights," Barra said on Bloomberg Television. "We will lead with social media, with the channels that allow us to get in touch with the young generation that are enthusiastic about new technology. We are definitely going there."

Barra didn't provide a date for its mobile entrance.

Xiaomi's entrance into the US was shadowed, when in June it acquired 1,500 patents from Microsoft. While not in the mobile market, Xiaomi has entered the US before with fitness wearables, headphones, and other tech accessories.

Entering the US market is a logical move for Xiaomi, the largest private company in China. Its shipments tumbled by 38 percent in China for the quarter ended June 30 compared to the same period last year, as Huawei, Oppo, and Vivo strengthened their positions in China, according to a recent research note from IDC.

Xiaomi will be entering a smartphone market in the US dominated by Apple and Samsung. It's not clear if Xiaomi will have any partnerships with carriers, or sell independently through its website.

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