Chinese smartphone manufacturer Xiaomi has been making waves recently, sitting behind only Apple and Samsung in terms of volume shipped in Q3 2014, and announcing the hugely impressive Mi Note and Mi Note Pro this week.
Alas, former Google man Hugo Barra, now Xiaomi’s head of global, says it’ll be “a few years” before we see phones like the Mi Notes in the US and UK.
That’s the word according to Hugo in a video interview shared on BBC News Technology, shortly after this week’s launch event.
“It’s probably going to be a few years before we reach for these ‘Tier One’ markets as we might define them,” begins Hugo. “And the reason is because we think that our value proposition of building very high specification products and selling them, y’know, almost at cost has a much higher impact – economic and social impact – in the developing markets.
“But also because markets like the US and Europe are insanely competitive, and I think we’re not quite at the level where we feel like we’re ready to be part of what we’re doing in these markets.”
But we want the Xiaomi Mi Note and Mi Note Pro now! Hugo? Can you hear us?! On the plus side, the big man describes Xiaomi as a “Chinese company with insane global ambitions,” so I guess we just need to be patient for now.
On the subject of smartphone copycats, Barra adds: “We are a very innovative company. We've done a lot of really interesting, original things. We have been copied almost more than any other Chinese company, particularly given the model that we use to sell, the social media approach, the e-commerce, and so on. Which is not design per se, but it is a very important part of our business."
For the full interview, hit the blue words.