Xiaomi could sell phones in US by end of 2018, says CEO

After teasing a US smartphone launch for years, Xiaomi's CEO eyes late 2018 or early 2019.

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Xiaomi is planning to launch smartphones in the US. (CNET/CBS Interactive)

China-based Xiaomi has provided more details surrounding plans to launch its first smartphone in the US.

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In an interview with The Wall Street Journal, CEO Lei Jun said Xiaomi phones could arrive as soon as late 2018 or early 2019.

Read also: Xiaomi confirms US smartphone launch set for the 'near future'

Jun didn't detail which phones Xiaomi will launch in the US or carrier partners.

We have reached out to Xiaomi for comment, and will update you if we learn more.

"We hope to be an immediate success in the US so we need a lot of time and careful preparation to achieve that," Jun told a group of reporters in late 2017. He has teased a phone launch in the US for years.

Xiaomi currently sells its Mi Box set-top box, smartwatches, fitness trackers, and smart home devices on its website in the US.

In 2017, Xiaomi ranked as the fourth smartphone manufacturer in China with 12.4 percent of the market, according to IDC data. In Q4 2017, Xiaomi doubled its share to 7 percent from 3.3 percent year-over-year during the holiday quarter. It has focused on markets outside of China, including India and Russia.

Xiaomi is said to file for IPO in 2018, and it could be valued up to $100 billion, according to reports.

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