Xiaomi wants to enter US smartphone market in 2019

Chinese smartphone manufacturer Xiaomi has revealed it is aiming to crack the US market next year.

A senior executive told Reuters that the US was “very attractive” and that it was devoting engineering resources to ensure its smartphones were compatible with US mobile networks. They added that talks with operators were ongoing, with no concrete agreements secured.

Xiaomi hopes its US connections will ensure it avoids the difficulties that have afflicted other tech firms from its homeland cracking America.

Xiaomi US launch

Xiaomi has enjoyed considerable success in China and has since targeted other Asian nations to contribute to an astonishing 129 per cent rise in year-on-year sales. It sold 29.3 million units in the most recent quarter, giving it a market share of eight per cent and making it the world’s fourth largest smartphone manufacturer.

To continue this rate of growth it needs to look even further, especially with the company’s flotation taking place in the background. A distribution deal with CK Hutchison, parent company of Three, will see its devices sold in the UK and other parts of Europe.

However, the US represents an entirely different prospect. Huawei has no distribution agreements and is effectively frozen out of the government market, while some US politicians have called for formal bans of its telecommunications network equipment on national security grounds.

Meanwhile, ZTE is in the process of overturning a seven-year ban from even dealing with US companies for breaching a previous settlement for violating US sanctions against Iran and North Korea.

Steve McCaskill is TechRadar Pro's resident mobile industry expert, covering all aspects of the UK and global news, from operators to service providers and everything in between. He is a former editor of Silicon UK and journalist with over a decade's experience in the technology industry, writing about technology, in particular, telecoms, mobile and sports tech, sports, video games and media.