Xiaomi Poised To Launch Accessory Sales In U.S., Euro Markets
The world's third-largest smartphone distributor Xiaomi Corp. will start selling in the U.S. and parts of Europe for the first time next week via its website.
Smartphones won't be available on the site, where it currently features a couple of inexpensive "power bank" power supplements for mobile devices, an audio headset at $79.99 and an "activity and sleep tracker" worn on the wrist for $14.99.
"Xiaomi is likely testing the American and European waters before bringing its smartphones to these markets," according to TechCrunch, which reported on the development Wednesday.
"If it establishes itself as a provider of quality yet inexpensive products, Xiaomi could sneak into the crowded smartphone market like Vizio did with HDTVs," TechCrunch said.
The five-year-old Xiaomi is know for operating on razor thin margins and seeks to obtain profits largely from accessories, software and services.
Its products are available exclusively through its website rather than through resellers or brick-and-mortar stores.
Smartphones branded by Xiaomi are manufactured by Foxconn and Inventec, which operate contract factories whose customers also include Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL).
Xiaomi overtook Samsung Electronics Co. last year as the largest smartphone provider in China, according to International Data Group's IDC.
As of December, Xiaomi was valued at $46 billion based on venture funding from investors who include Uber Technologies.
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