Xiaomi hopes to maneuver into the US market quickly

China’s Xiaomi unveiled the Mi eight Professional smartphone in London Thursday, making a UK debut because the tech large ramps up its European presence earlier than an anticipated American launch subsequent month.

Xiaomi, which is seeking to acquire floor on rivals Apple, Huawei and Samsung, revealed the flagship product at a launch occasion on the Barbican Centre.

The Mi eight Professional will go on sale in Britain on Friday, the group introduced, marking the primary time that the gadget has been obtainable outdoors China.

The cellphone, which retails from £499.99 ($657, 573 euros), makes use of Google’s Android working system and has a fingerprint sensor in its 6.2-inch display. It will likely be obtainable from numerous retailers together with operator Three Cellular.

Xiaomi additionally introduced it’s going to open an official Mi Retailer on November 18 at London’s Westfield purchasing centre in White Metropolis, having opened in Paris earlier this yr.

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‘Milestone product’

“Mi eight Professional is a milestone product and that is why we predict it’s excellent right here immediately at a world debut right here in London,” stated Donovan Sing, director of product administration.

He added: “We’re going to be bringing Mi eight right here to the UK market.”

The group may even promote different hi-tech devices, together with a fitness-tracking band and an electrical scooter.

The entrepreneur behind Xiaomi, Lei Jun, describes the enterprise he has constructed as a “new species” of firm with a “triathlon” enterprise mannequin combining {hardware}, web and e-commerce providers.

Xiaomi is the world’s fourth-largest smartphone vendor

Merchandise vary from house devices like good air purifiers to non-tech gadgets akin to pillows and ballpoint pens.

Sensible telephones have remained at its core since its 2010 founding in Zhongguancun—China’s Silicon Valley – and gross sales have skyrocketed, making Xiaomi the world’s fourth-largest smartphone vendor on the finish of final yr, based on Worldwide Knowledge Corp.

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As some European customers have pulled again from costly outlays for an iPhone or Samsung, Xiaomi’s extra inexpensive product has proved a success in international locations like France, Italy and Spain.

“Europe is our subsequent focus,” Lei Jun instructed traders this summer season, noting the corporate’s explosive progress within the area had already made Xiaomi the quantity 4 smartphone vendor in western Europe.

Worldwide gross sales now carry in additional than one-third of the corporate’s income.

In India, Xiaomi has cornered roughly 30 p.c of the market, though rising pains there present how it may be troublesome for Chinese language firms to increase overseas.

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Its cellphone chargers initially confronted a comparatively excessive defect price due to India’s energy provide issues and required a redesign to extend voltage.

Scepticism

Xiaomi ought to keep away from such points in the UK, however may encounter scepticism over its Chinese language origins and considerations over knowledge safety.

Even after its Chinese language competitor Huawei constructed a cyber safety centre for UK officers to evaluation its code, controversy in regards to the firm’s operations and potential nationwide safety threats has continued.

Nonetheless, in contrast to Huawei, Xiaomi was not based by a veteran of China’s armed forces and sells handsets as a substitute of telecom infrastructure so there could also be much less trigger for concern.


Discover additional:
Shares in China’s Xiaomi dip on Hong Kong debut

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